Rugby 26.8.2014 03:20 pm

Jonker the rock in Pumas challenge

FILE PICTURE: JW Jonker during the Absa Currie Cup match. Picture: Manus van Dyk / Gallo Images

FILE PICTURE: JW Jonker during the Absa Currie Cup match. Picture: Manus van Dyk / Gallo Images

The strongly built Pumas centre JW Jonker, 1.87m and 92kg, has been the bedrock upon which his side’s relative success thus far has been built.

During this year’s Currie Cup, the midfielder has been a fixture not only on the team sheet, but also of his team’s attacking and defensive plays. The centre is steady if unspectacular, but has been known to keep opposing defences busy.

“Due to his Sevens skills, he has a very high work rate. He is the Jonah Lomu of our team with his power drives,” Pumas assistant coach MJ Mentz said.

He displayed this with a rousing attacking performance in midfield against the Griquas last Friday. Running prowess aside, the former Cheetah and Grey College Old Boy, has earned most of his plaudits for his work on defence. In the clash against the Griquas the former Blitzbok managed 21 tackles – a startling number for a backline player.

Jonker is also the type of player who rubs off positively on his team-mates. These intangibles have also not gone unnoticed by team management, with Mentz adding: “JW’s best qualities on the pitch are that he brings a certain calmness to the players, and he has great communication skills both on defence and attack.”

The midfielder is a leader in the squad, having previously skippered the side. If the Pumas are to continue their giant killing act in this year’s Currie Cup, senior players like Jonker will have to hit their straps.

 

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