Grant tops SA's kicking list
Cape Town - Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant currently boasts the best goal-kicking percentage of the top South African flyhalves in Super Rugby.Die Burger
reports that Grant tops the list with a 91% success rate, with the Lions' Elton Jantjies second at 83% and the Bulls' Morné Steyn on 76%.
Steyn is the current Springbok pivot but had a dreadful recent Test series against England. His general play was also below-par but his goal-kicking - normally the strongest aspect of his game - deserted him badly in the series, which South Africa won 2-0 after drawing the final Test 14-all in Port Elizabeth.
Steyn was successful with only 12 out of 22 kicks at goal which ultimately cost the Boks an easy 3-0 series clean-sweep.
This will put pressure on Steyn to perform in the remaining Super Rugby clashes, especially with the Rugby Championship in mind. Goal-kicking stats alone cannot assure an automatic entry into the Springbok team but many believe it is exactly that which set Steyn apart from his peers in recent years.
Former Bok coach Nick Mallett said after the PE Test that if Steyn cannot kick his goals, his spot should be in danger as there are better flyhalves than him in South Africa.
Therefore Grant and Jantjies will be eager to shine in their clash at Newlands on Saturday, as the Springbok No 10 spot could still be up for grabs.
"There's no doubt motivation for them," said Stormers backline coach Robbie Fleck when asked about the duel between Jantjies and Grant.
"Heyneke (Meyer, Bok coacch) made it clear that Springbok spots could be played open before the Rugby Championship. Elton did well for the Lions and Bash (Grant) did well for us. Both will view it as an opportunity," said Fleck.
Steyn on the other hand will be eager to get back to form to fend off the challenge of Grant and Jantjies. He starts at flyhalf for the Bulls against the Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.Teams:Stormers:
15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Gerhard van den Heever, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Siya Kolisi, 7 Don Armand, 6 Tyrone Holmes, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Deon Carstens
Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Quinn Roux, 19 Jebb Sinclair, 20 Louis Schrueder, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Bryan HabanaLions:
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Butch James, 11 Anthonie Volminck, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Joshua Strauss (captain), 7 Grant Hattingh, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 CJ van der Linde/Ruaan Dreyer, 18 Ruan Botha, 19 Jaco Kriel, 20 Michael Bondesio, 21 Waylon Murray, 22 Ruan Combrinck