Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
Cape Town – If Super Rugby statistics are going to carry any
weight in Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer’s deliberations over the flyhalf spot
against England next month, then incumbent Morne Steyn is only entrenching his
The Bulls No 10 rules the roost in just about every
boot-related category in the competition after Week 12.
According to latest figures in the Sydney Morning Herald, the
27-year-old heads up five departments.
For starters, his 12-point haul in the latest victory
(27-24) over the Waratahs on tour last Friday boosted him to 161 overall points
in 2012, nine clear of next-placed counterpart Aaron Cruden of the Chiefs
These prolific scorers are due to lock horns very shortly:
the Bulls, who first play the Highlanders this Saturday, meet the Chiefs in
Hamilton on May 25 in a match which may go a long way to determining who tops
the overall table at the end of ordinary season.
The men from Pretoria presently head the standings, one
point ahead of the Waikato outfit.
Steyn also hogs top spot for most penalty goals (32),
conversions (27) and dropped goals (2).
Just as significantly, the out-of-hand authority of his
kicking is reflected in the fact that he sports the most kicking metres,
according to the latest stats: an impressive 4,294m.
That places him fairly narrowly ahead of compatriot Joe
Pietersen (3,914m), the diminutive Stormers fullback who gets surprisingly
strong distance himself on touch-finders and in-field kicks – both players are
a long way ahead of anyone else in Super Rugby in that regard.
And if anyone is tempted to suggest that the figures only
confirm a “robotic” characteristic to Steyn, they should bear in mind that he
is clearly not doing a shabby job in mixing up his game.
That is because the Bulls currently boast 36 tries – an average
of just under four per game. It is a tally matched only by the Hurricanes.
The flyhalf is obviously regarded as a vital conduit in
attacking play, so it suggests Steyn is back playing more adventurously out of
the “pocket” he has often been accused of occupying a little too stubbornly in
Adding further to the rosy picture surrounding his current
form, he has the distinction of making his 100th Super Rugby
appearance when the Bulls tackle the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday.
Another South African featuring especially prominently in
the various Super Rugby stats right now is the Sharks’ dynamic No 7 Marcell
Coetzee: he heads up the category for most tackles (168) – three more than
Zimbabwean-born Force captain and fellow loose-forward David Pocock.
Considering that he is also a confident runner with the ball
tucked beneath an arm, Coetzee could just force himself into Bok contention at
blindside flank, where the national side has a problem with several injured
customers at present.
Bulls wing Bjorn Basson has just slipped to second for most
tries (7), behind Andre Taylor of the Hurricanes and the Chiefs’ amazing
pick-and-go phenomenon near the tryline, shiny-domed loosehead Sona Taumalolo –
they both boast eight.
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