Van der Westhuizen credits teammates

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Chucky van der Westhuizen scoring one of his two tries against the Pumas when they last met on 3 June 2022 at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

The Toyota Cheetahs hooker, Chucky van der Westhuizen, has credited the team for his tries thus far in the Currie Cup. The Namibian international has scored the most tries in the competition this season with 15 in just 11 matches thus far.

The Cheetahs are in the semi-finals of the Currie Cup this week and will face the Pumas in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon. This gives the front-rower at least one more bite of the cherry in order to set the Free State record for the most tries in the season.
Van der Westhuizen is one try away from equalling the Free State record of Jan-Harm van Wyk in a season. Van Wyk was a winger, while another former outside back, Phillip Burger, also scored 15 tries in one season for the Cheetahs.

The in-form Van der Westhuizen is not only a try-scoring machine at the moment, but his general play has been outstanding at it is easy to see why the coach, Hawies Fourie, has always viewed the player in as his number one in the position.

Van der Westhuizen told Bloemfontein Courant that it is great to have crossed the white-wash on 15 occasions, but he feels that the team deserves the credit and not him.
“It’s obviously a huge privilege to make the stats and scoring that many tries, but I can’t take all the credit for it. All the credit should go to the forward’s pack.

“I’m only finishing the maul tries and mauls that the forwards started. Credit to the pack and to coach Izak (van der Westhuizen), our forwards coach. It’s a stat for the forwards and not just me.”

Van der Westhuizen has scored nearly twice as many tries as the second played Angelo Davids of Western Province, who is a winger. Davids has scored a total of 8 tries this season.

Meanwhile, the leading points-scorer in the competition, Ruan Pienaar, is also set for another milestone in his illustrious career during the semi-final. Pienaar is set to play in his 440th first-class match. Pienaar is already the most capped rugby player in South African history. It went unnoticed as Pienaar broke the record of another former World Cup-winning Springbok, Victor Matfield. During his playing career the great lock played in 421 first-class games.

As it stands before Saturday semi-final, Pienaar leads the scoring chart with 113 points thus far. He has also scored the most conversions with 37, which is 14 more than the second placed Eddie Fouché who will be playing for the Pumas on Saturday.

The Cheetahs tackle the Pumas at 13:30 on Saturday at the Toyota Stadium in the semi-finals of the Currie Cup. – MORGAN PIEK