Future Star: Guy Cronjé
24 Jan 2009
In a curtain-raiser to the 2008 Absa Currie Cup final, the Sharks U19s smashed their more fancied Western Province counterparts 31-18, winning the age-group tournament. Integral to the baby Sharks’ success were the Cronjé twins, Guy and Ross.
‘We were out for a bit of revenge,’ says Guy, who plays flyhalf. ‘My brother didn’t play in the first game against them [which WP won]. It was a bit tough because I had to play his position at scrumhalf, so we wanted to get one back at them.
‘It was a great experience and an unbelievable achievement. It was the first time a Sharks U19 side have ever won the tournament so it was an amazing feeling.’
Guy and Ross have been playing rugby together since they were six years old and Guy believes they have a natural understanding of each other’s games.
‘It certainly is a lot easier playing with Ross. He just seems to know exactly where I am on the field; I guess having played with him for so long now we almost have a telepathic understanding – I know what he’s doing and he knows what I’m doing, so that’s a huge advantage.’
Both the Cronjé brothers are goal kickers and while Ross, the oldest by five minutes, was handed the goal-kicking responsibility in the final, Guy chipped in with a cheeky left foot drop goal on the stroke of half-time which gave the Sharks a valuable lead at the break.
‘We both enjoy taking conversions and penalties so sometimes we have to resort to a game of ching chong cha to decide who gets to take the kick.’
His coach at the Sharks, Rudolf Straeuli, believes Guy has the ability to be a great flyhalf and should have a bright future in South African rugby.
‘Guy was very instrumental in our success in 2008,’ says Straeuli. ‘He has very good distribution skills and is a great decision-maker. His communication with the backline is superb which is essential for his position. He is really professional and enthusiastic. He is not the biggest player on the field, but what he lacks in physicality he makes up for in enthusiasm. He is one of the toughest tacklers in the side.’
Guy, who is studying a BComm through the Sharks Academy, was, along with his brother, recently involved with the SA U20 high performance squad in Pretoria and both are hoping to be part of the SA U20 squad for the IRB Junior World Cup in Japan later in 2009.