Lambie October's Star?
Cape Town - After much debate and head scratching, the Sport24 team have announced their Performers, Plonkers and Pictures of the month for October 2010.
Click HERE to cast your vote - and WIN!
Every month the Sport24 editorial team will announce nominations for a sportsperson or team (people who stole the limelight with a specific performance that month), a plonker (a team or person who has not covered themselves in glory) and a sports photo of the month (the one that makes you go "Ahhh"). You then get a chance to vote for the person, team and picture that best deserves the award...
So without further ado, then, the October nominations are...
Narrowing down the nominations for the October star of the month proved tricky with several candidates returning performances worthy of recognition.
Who could possibly begrudge Lambie, the wunderkind of South African rugby in 2010, man-of-the-match laurel in the Currie Cup final? The flyhalf, barely 20, capped a stunning campaign with a 25-point haul and THAT hand-off on Schalk Burger, no less, for one of his two tries in the grand climax. Springbok tour selection afterwards was, of course, a fait accompli.
It may have come against iffy neighbours Zimbabwe, but a significant milestone remains exactly that: the exciting Warriors left-hander, 25, marked his ODI debut for the Proteas in Bloemfontein with a century – making him the first South African and only sixth batsman of all time to achieve that feat at the first attempt.
This was the month when Griquas flyer Basson broke the record for most tries in a Currie Cup season: he was level with Carel du Plessis and Colin Lloyd on 19 going into the last round-robin fixture against the Blue Bulls and duly added two in their high-scoring defeat in Kimberley to claim sole ownership. Now, of course, he is Bulls-bound …
The drought is over! The Buccaneers, one of the “big two” in South African football from a fan-base point of view, finally laid their silverware bogey to rest by clinching the MTN8 trophy after beating Moroka Swallows in a penalty shootout at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban (it was deadlocked 1-1 after 120 minutes). Ten years of misery had ended …
CHAD LE CLOS
Two golds at the Commonwealth Games … not bad for a Durban matric pupil! The up-and-coming swimmer took a leaf from the book of illustrious, more established national squad-mates like Natalie du Toit and Cameron van der Burgh by getting that top-of-podium feeling in Delhi. He bagged South Africa’s first gold at the Games, in the men’s 200m butterfly, and followed it up with the 400m individual medley.
And in the not so serious plonker category... Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the biggest plonker of them all?
What a farce that we didn’t get to “Sierra” Bafana Bafana’s important African Nations Cup qualifier in Freetown. They held difficult opponents Sierra Leone to a gutsy enough draw, by all reports, but the nation didn’t get to see the action live on SABC TV, with the broadcaster claiming that their crew and equipment were grounded in Ivory Coast by weather en route. SAFA expressed “disappointment”. Millions more South Africans were notably less flattering in their views …
What a time to run out of steam … the concession of two gut-wrenching tries to opponents the Leopards in the last five minutes in George meant hosts the Eagles conceded an all-important bonus point over the two-leg promotion/relegation tie and failed in their quest to return to Currie Cup A-Section rugby despite a 32-28 win at Outeniqua Park. Victory can seldom have tasted so wretched?
A double raspberry for our rugby administration this month: first for the two-week gap between Currie Cup semis and final – rather than giving the Springboks a crucial extra week to be ready for the Grand Slam tour – but also for leaving announcement of the actual touring squad until after the domestic showpiece (and thus no more than a week out from the tough opener on the other side of the equator against relative bogey team Ireland).
Yes, the Eastern Cape franchise won the Currie Cup first division final, but their failure to top the table meant they paid a heavy price – having to play the stronger Pumas rather than Leopards in the all-important promotion playoffs. In the end they found that a bridge too far … and all their big-budget, top-flight ambitions came to zero as they experienced heartbreak in the deciding second leg before 40 000 depressed PE folk.
In charge of the important Currie Cup round-robin match between old rivals the Blue Bulls and Western Province at Loftus early in the month, the referee wrongly yellow-carded Dewald Potgieter for a trip on Gio Aplon, when replays seemed to show the WP man had tripped over his own feet. And then Jean de Villiers’s sin-binning for a high tackle smacked a bit of rectifying one error with another …
In a bid to deservedly salute the photographers doing the hard graft on the sidelines. Sport24 have put together a gallery of the "Best of the Best" pictures of the month of October. They're guaranteed to leave you speechless. Click HERE to view our selection of the: Best of the best pictures
Readers monthly votes will decide the 12 finalists in each category, and it is from those 12 finalists that Sport24 will decide their Star, Plonker and Picture of the Year in December.