Bok No 10: Lambie duels Steyn

2012-10-14 16:46

Cape Town - It’s the “Battle of the Bees II” ... and also a fascinating duel at flyhalf as hometown pin-up Patrick Lambie confronts Morné Steyn to thicken the three-way plot in the race to be top Springbok pivot on the end-of-year tour.

The Sharks, losing finalists in 2011, take on the Blue Bulls in the first Currie Cup semi-final on Saturday (Mr Price Kings Park, 16:30), whilst defending champions the Lions entertain Western Province in the later clash at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg (19:00).

The Durban meeting is a carbon copy of the semi two years ago, when an unexpected swarm of agitated bees colonised a section of the pitch and delayed the start by some 40 minutes.

Then, the Sharks prevailed 16-12 before going on to win the trophy at the expense of well-beaten Western Province in the showpiece.

Lambie and Steyn wore the respective No 10 shirts in that semi-final too, with the latter registering 12 points to Lambie’s 11, though Keegan Daniel’s lone try of the match made a critical difference.

They are players of rather contrasting philosophies and hallmarks in the important channel, but each inarguably effective in their own way ... and both also in decent form, based on evidence from the last weekend of round-robin play.

Lambie was a sparkling attacking link in the Sharks’ expected, comfortable disposal of Griquas on Friday night, whilst Steyn stuck to what he is traditionally good at - a clinical tactical and place-kicking game - as the Bulls rumbled to victory over a deliberately under-strength but still commendably spirited Lions outfit in Johannesburg.

With Young Turk and current Bok first-choice Johan Goosen sadly ruled out by injury for the remainder of the year, Elton Jantjies, diminutive pivot for the defending-champion Lions, is probably entitled to be labelled the Test incumbent as he replaced the stricken Goosen and played the best part of the defeat to the All Blacks at FNB Stadium.

The left-footed player also began Saturday’s Highveld derby off the bench, in all likelihood a tactical move as provincial coach Johan Ackermann rested several normally first-choice troops because the Lions were already assured of second-placed finish.

Veteran Butch James instead started the match in the flyhalf slot and as captain, before moving pretty seamlessly to inside centre as Jantjies got 40 minutes of game-time.

Unfortunately for Jantjies, perhaps, he was slightly below his best after entering the fray, though his presence coincided with the Lions’ “second-stringers” running out of steam a little with the Bok-laden Bulls turning the screws impressively.

But Steyn, recently ditched from Bok plans after a significant tenure, got all but the last couple of minutes of the fixture and was the choice of SuperSport pundit and his former Bulls captain and Bok team-mate Victor Matfield for the official player-of-the-match award.

The most heartening aspect of Steyn’s game was that he largely got his mojo back off the tee, and even if the Bulls’ kick-and-chase formula doesn’t win friends universally, his contribution in that department played a major role in their exploiting it handsomely to their advantage on the day.

Jantjies had mixed the good with the indifferent in his extended on-field spell for the Boks against New Zealand recently, and if national coach Heyneke Meyer is going to stick to his general liking for consistency, probably deserves to start the first of South Africa’s three Northern Hemisphere Tests against Ireland in Dublin on November 10.

But the cat could also be set among the pigeons if either of Lambie or Steyn leaves a massive stamp on Saturday’s first semi.

There must still be every chance that all three will make the tour cut, given Lambie’s versatile credentials also as a fullback and someone who can cover inside centre if necessary.

Both Currie Cup “last four” games are appetising for a host of reasons, especially as returning Boks gave the latest round a noticeable cutting edge.

The semis feature three of the same sides who graced last year’s equivalent stage, the only exception being the Bulls - fifth-placed in 2011 - stealing a berth this time from the Cheetahs, who are instead thrown into a promotion/relegation scrap with the EP Kings.

Western Province could be said to be the most desperate side next weekend, given that their last Currie Cup triumph was as long ago as 2001.

But they have also been Super Rugby conference winners for two seasons in a row, and are arguably slight favourites to knock over the Lions in the Big Smoke.

That is because, with Springboks back in the domestic mix, Super Rugby is best used as a yardstick for prospects - and in that competition earlier in the year the Stormers pipped the Lions each time, 24-19 away and 27-17 at Newlands.

Expect bookies to fancy a Sharks-WP final, albeit with some credible protesting views from both Highveld-based participants in the semis ...

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing


  • tertius.devereaux.1 - 2012-10-14 16:52

    Morne Steyn sal hom 'manhandle'

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-14 16:59

      No contest. Go Steyn!!!

      malcolm.molver - 2012-10-14 17:07

      Hahahaha stupid Bulls supporters have jokes hey. Lambie is far better than Monique Steyn! - 2012-10-14 17:10

      Tertius. It's not good manners to post comments when you are drunk. I can't see any other reason why someone would think that Lambie will be manhandled by 1D Steyn. I loved the way Steyn kept calling forwards to his side of the ruck all night last night. Te bang om te tackle?

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-14 17:11

      Monique Steyn? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! That is so original.

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-14 17:43

      A.J. almal doen dit. Dis om overlaps te voorkom. As jy nog iets wil leer van rugby, vra enige Bulls supporter. Dis n plesier.

      donavan.boshoff - 2012-10-14 18:10

      Battle Royal, good contest between the two, I think Patto at home will have the edge, though Its good to see Steyn coming back into the form we all know he is capable of. Pity its not the final cos I think both teams are gonna have to play out of their skins. Safe to say whoever wins this game will go on to take the cup. Sharks forever

      maryna.mcfadden.5 - 2012-10-14 20:56

      Aj Boch jys n grap wat was die gesegde en nog steed Naas Botha se looks at the scorebored Naas botha die beste in Suid Afrika jammer om te se ma ook n Bull so al die flyhalfs kom ma van die bulle af. Jip naas was genoem naas haas ma daai naas haas was Baas so go morris you simply the best.

      blou.johnny - 2012-10-15 00:15

      ...Morne Steyn is simply the best... proven by the stats.... ....Patricia Lambie is only good at advertising shampoo on TV.. .....end of story... - 2012-10-15 04:45

      I presume those aren't the Springbok kicking stats you're refering to? :)

      smellarat.smith - 2012-10-15 06:33

      I think it is time to move on beyond Morne Steyn as first choice. Unless we always want to lose against the ABs, we need a new number 10 (Lambie/Jantjies/Goosen), number 13, and number 15. Numbers 10 and 15 are perhaps the 2 most essential playmakers in modern rugby - attack and counter attack. And JdV should at best be backup 12 for Frans Steyn. Since we have an abundance of great wings, JPP could provide the incisiveness coupled with size that we have been missing at 13 since Jacque Fourie left. Habana, Basson, Mvovo and now also Rhule provides many good options at wing. Hougaard should come off the bench. Put Taute on as run-on 15. Our forwards can now match and perhaps best any team on a good day. So give the captaincy to Francois Louw. I would not take a step back and build the team around now injury prone players like Schalk Burger and Juan Smith. They will not last until RWC 2015,. Time for the next generation.

      foodfor.thought.73 - 2012-10-15 06:39

      Just a quick question, why is all the rugby news on News24 either about the Bulls or the Western Provence. On the home page there are almost 4 articles just about the two of them, and non about the Lions or the Sharks. Does News24 really think the Bulls and the WP are the only two teams in SA - What about some equality...!!!!!!

  • spear.tackle.7 - 2012-10-14 16:55

    Gee daardie oupa pak lambie !!!

      press.enter.12 - 2012-10-14 22:11

      Bad hairday coming up for pretender Lambie . . . .

      john.bucknall.1 - 2012-10-15 05:08

      No problem MS(Monique) will have PMS on the day. Go Lambie, show Monique the art, kicking and tackling.

      raymond.romans.5 - 2012-10-15 08:57

      blowjobbie, why do you repeat yourself on all the articles? Come up with something original please.

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-14 17:44

    Instead of big mouthed rantings why don't these bull supporters wait for the game on saturday and if they have to make a judgement then do it afterwards. Both players would rather do their talking on the field, I know Lambie certainly will!!

      macziekpk - 2012-10-14 18:02

      Why are they talking? They should be playing on the field

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-14 19:02

      Kevin, old joke, never funny.

      macziekpk - 2012-10-14 21:17

      Is that joke still going? It's like when someone makes a Chuck Norris joke and everyone rolls their eyes

      morganjandre.dutoit - 2012-10-16 13:31

      Morne is the best and jip I'm a bull bt tht doesn't say anything steyn no hw to win when is needed 2

  • niel.walt - 2012-10-14 17:59

    Hope ge gives him a face handoff just like old oom schalk got 2 years ago!

      ryno.peters.7 - 2012-10-14 20:08

      It's just a pity steyn dont do tackles otherwise Lambie will give him that handoff.hehehe

      macziekpk - 2012-10-14 21:18

      The only thing Lambie can handoff is a green screen that they superimpose DANDRUFF onto

      niel.walt - 2012-10-14 21:49

      Maczie o shut up already. If lambie was a blue bull u would be singing a whole different tune

      macziekpk - 2012-10-15 00:21

      Probably but that is beside the point

      press.enter.12 - 2012-10-15 00:46

      If he was a blue bull he would have been better . . .

      niel.walt - 2012-10-15 08:16

      Offcourse that's the point lol! As a supprter of the game you should be able to look at each player objectively

      macziekpk - 2012-10-15 08:26

      Supporter of what game? The bulls are a team not a game

      niel.walt - 2012-10-15 08:40


  • tian.nel.18 - 2012-10-14 17:59

    So now lambie is fly half for the sharks but in the rugby championship he was a bench warmer.When he went on field in the second half he played at full back..he was nowhere,his positioning at the back was dreadfull

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-14 18:08

      Tell that to the anti-Zane brigade.

      ryno.peters.7 - 2012-10-14 20:07

      Your comment is dreadfull u idiot

      macziekpk - 2012-10-14 21:19

      Zane the Rolls Royce - I am not sure he can even use a Samsung S3, Designed for Humans. Because is an animal, superhuman

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-10-15 10:56

      Dumb polack, you are inZane.

      macziekpk - 2012-10-15 11:00

      I wish. I'm just a white boy from the suburbs.

      macziekpk - 2012-10-15 11:01

      At least one person picked up the polish heritage, well done billionaire

      springbok.bok - 2012-10-15 13:30

      We all knew you were polska boet, its nothing to be proud of.

  • Nighthawk.Wild - 2012-10-14 18:02

    Morne wants competition, not victims

  • ryno.tiana - 2012-10-14 18:43

    Jantjies all the way! Thats your future number 10!

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-14 19:03

      You didn't watch last night's game, did you?

      tian.nel.18 - 2012-10-14 19:09

      jantjies boks future? I dont have hope for the boks then

  • hans.himmler.7 - 2012-10-14 20:04

    Patrick Lambie is Hannibal Lector in "Silence of the Lambs". Clarice Starling (Morne Steyn) tastes like Chicken. See the Lamb silence his critics once and for all. Coming to Kingspark 27 October 2012. BLACK.WHITE.DYNAMITE

      carla.croft.77 - 2012-10-14 20:09

      Look at that picture of Lambie next to the story, eye candy, he is gorgeous.....kan hom sommer opvreet!

      carla.croft.77 - 2012-10-14 21:15

      I'm beginning to feel sorry for you.... I see you checked in for your nightshift...what colour overall do you wear? Pls dont take it out on us!

      tertius.devereaux.1 - 2012-10-14 21:36

      Hans-lammerjie jy kyk te veel movies

      hans.himmler.7 - 2012-10-14 21:43

      Tertius kyk maar die riller die 27ste. Jy neem te min spel lesse - lammertjie, nie lammerjie.

  • tony.calitz - 2012-10-14 21:18

    The last few Currie Cup games have, once again, shown what a farce the competition really is until the Boks are back. Some folks actually kid themselves, almost every year, that Griquas can go on to win this competition - and maybe they could IF the Boks were excluded for the entire competition! I believe that the Currie Cup would be a better breeding ground for Springboks and a better-balanced competition if the Bok SQUAD was excluded from the entire competition - this would also allow the Boks to gain some well-earned R&R to ease the pressure on those overworked bodies & injuries before the year-end tour.

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-10-15 05:58

    And the WINNER! Pat Lambie.

      henk.jacobs.39 - 2012-10-15 11:04

      Congrats Lambie, here's your bottle shampoo!

  • marc.grondein - 2012-10-15 07:26

    Steyn has been exposed buy the All blacks , Lambie is the future all three skills,not one dimensional.

      david.bassill - 2012-10-15 07:31

      You mean by the rugby world

  • marius.potgieter.39 - 2012-10-15 08:06

    The sharks supporters will say that lambie is the best,lions supporters would say elton is the best and the cheetah supporters would say gooseen is the best....and the same with province.....but by taking of our provincial glasses we all know who realy is the best....

      spyker.oflanagan - 2012-10-15 08:12


      macziekpk - 2012-10-15 08:27

      Crown prince HRH morne steyn

  • vernon.annandale.7 - 2012-10-15 08:58

    Both are great flyhalfs,wish them both all the best,may the best team win! Sharks 4 life!

  • Barry - 2012-10-15 13:06

    A bit boring reading the ongoing Lambie verses MS debate in this Blog. Without wishing to get involved in the "who is Best Debate", I would just like to say that as a spectator sport, it really is exciting watching Lambie play at 10, whilst the predictable, "Kick Evething" game that MS insists on, really is so monotonous!

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