Goosen tops S15 century race
Johan Goosen (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen could become the first player in 2012 to reach 100 Super Rugby points when his team host the Lions at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon.
Goosen is currently the top points’ scorer in the competition on 98. The Hurricanes’ Beauden Barrett is on 86 and needs 14 points against the Sharks to make it to 100 before Goosen. Joe Pietersen of the Stormers is third on 73.
And while Goosen (and possibly Barrett) are chasing this milestone this weekend, in round seven, they are not close to the record for the fastest player to reach 100 points in a season. That mark belongs to Gavin Lawless of the Sharks, who passed 100 season points in his fourth game in 1997 (he scored 50 against the Highlanders, 23 against the Waratahs and 15 each against the Brumbies and Cheetahs).
Two players have done it in five games - Gavin Johnson for the Lions (then still Transvaal), also in 1997 and Morné Steyn for the Bulls in 2010.
Goosen, who starred for the SA Under-20s last year and is still eligible for the team this season, and Barrett have both played in all six their teams’ matches thus far this season.
This week the Lions welcome back their primary goal kicker, Elton Jantjies, who was SA U20 flyhalf in 2010. He missed a few matches because of injury, in which time veteran Bok flyhalf Butch James has taken over the kicking duties.
The 14 successful penalty goals that Goosen (5) and Jantjies (9) kicked when these two sides met in the first round in Johannesburg, is the most ever in a Super Rugby match.
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské said they are happy to be back home after a difficult start to the competition.
“Our season has been up and down and we have mixed feelings about the results. But it was a tough start - we’ve played five out of our first six games away from home,” said Drotské.
“I do feel, however, that we should’ve won our games against the Lions and the Brumbies – we lost both of them through late penalty goals. Now we have 10 games in South Africa and seven in Bloemfontein to look forward to. We are improving each week and know we need to win our home games.”
Lions coach John Mitchell said: “We’re prepared as well as we can for this game and we have a specific way in which we want to play. The Cheetahs would’ve returned from their tour with a lot of confidence and are playing well and we fully respect them for that.”
Kick-off is at 15:00 on Saturday.
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Ryno Benjamin, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Ashley Johnson, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 George Earle, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen
Substitutes: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Andries Ferreira, 19 Justin Downey, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Philip Snyman
15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Alwyn Hollenbach, 12 Butch James, 11 Andries Coetzee, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Joshua Strauss (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen
Substitutes: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Marius Coetzer, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Michael Bondesio, 21 Lionel Mapoe, 22 James Kamana