Steyn-Lambie duel a Bok trial?

2011-05-18 08:02

J.J. Harmse

Pretoria - Morné Steyn is still the king of South African flyhalves, but how strong a contender is his crown prince Patrick Lambie?

That is a question that may well be answered at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday in the Super Rugby showdown between the Sharks and Bulls.

Steyn is a regular thorn in the flesh of the home team and will surely make the Sharks pay for any undisciplined play this weekend.

However, it is rather the showdown with Lambie that could impact on the two players' career planning for later in the year.

It was quite noticeable that Lambie regularly - too regularly according to some experts - replaced Steyn in Tests on South Africa's November tour.

That raised the question whether the Springbok management were considering replacing the Bulls player with the young Shark for this year's Tri-Nations and World Cup.

The Springbok team-mates now play one another for the first time since Lambie became a Bok and both coaches, Frans Ludeke and John Plumtree, should be fairly satisfied with the form of their flyhalves.

Steyn got his backline going increasingly well in recent weeks and had a good game on attack against the Rebels.

His chip kick that sent Wynand Olivier through for the Bulls' first try was a gem and he also found him with a good running later in the game, which allowed the centre to notch a hat trick of tries.

Lambie missed a month's rugby, but in the Sharks' last three games against the Hurricanes, Stormers and Brumbies he showed that he is again reaching the heights of last year.

Both will flourish if they get good possession on the front foot, while Steyn won't hesitate to go for drop goals. Lambie, on the other hand, loves scoring tries.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke believes that the team's bye and the quarter of an hour's rest that Steyn enjoyed against the Rebels contributed a lot to revitalising the points machine.

"There is still a lot of rugby left in him. Last year this time we already started playing semi-finals, but this year there is still at least six weeks left and then we go into the play-offs," said Ludeke.

"The management of players will therefore be important, especially with someone like Morné, who has played a lot of rugby for us."

"Last week's rest was good for him and we could afford to replace him against the Rebels. It may be decisive in the last few weeks of the tournament."

Steyn last year passed the mark of 100 points after just five games, but only managed to get there in his ninth game (against the Force) this year. He has not yet scored a try this year (after five in 2010), while Lambie has already touched down twice.

Steyn notched 142 points (at an average of 12.9), while Lambie's 115 points has come at an average of 14.3.


  • Marcell - 2011-05-18 09:08

    Here we go again! Naas was in the same spot. Always had to go and proof that he was the best. Now it is the same with Steyn.

      Howzitekse - 2011-05-18 12:30

      Steyn was good when he was picked for the Boks at the time of the Lions tour, as his kicking, tackling, distibution and even his running into space was good. He is presently playing at about 60%, and is at best an average middle of the road fly-half. If he can get his game up, he should be 1st choice, but if he can't, he should be dropped. If he was playing in NZ at his current level, he would battle to start in any of their S15 sides.

      BOKLDN - 2011-05-18 12:39

      Steyn would easily make their teams. Only Carter ahead of him in NZ. Others: Donald, Berquist, Cruden, Otago guys (Tony Brown is their best and is 65 in the shade) and Chiefs guys. No ways are they are better.

      Carl Muller - 2011-05-18 15:52

      If he is not the best presently why choose him? I'd rather play an adventurous young player that is hungry than a guy that misses so many kicks lately... Bulls forever...

      BardofAvon - 2011-05-18 23:06

      Yes, Marcell, exactly! Remember that "showdown" between Naas and Krause in the Bok trials at Loftus? It was a joke. The Lambie and Grant hype is good though for Morne - it will keep him honest.

      BardofAvon - 2011-05-18 23:08

      @Howzitekse (nice nic btw!): Good point, but Steyn's play is a mirror of the Bulls play - they seem to be gathering momentum as the season goes on. Steyn though is a fantastic pressure-kicker... and many of his "misses" have been 50m -plus attempts.

  • GraemeBB - 2011-05-18 09:34

    I like both these men. Grant is a bit suspect when kicking out of hand under pressure. Both these men must watch for the new kid on the block, Sias Ebersohn. He is playing wonderful rugby for the Cheetahs, and is my personal favourite. He wont even be in contention this year, but surely must have been noticed by the top brass.

  • WPBEFONK - 2011-05-18 09:52

    Peter Grant for LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Howzitekse - 2011-05-18 12:31

      WP, I like Grant, but he is not good enough. Klaar.

      StaalBurgher - 2011-05-18 14:37

      Agreed. Grant is good but at his best he will only ever be a barely adequate international flyhalf.

      Plesierspier - 2011-05-18 15:27

      En jou papsak geinfekteerde brein ook! Grant is an average provincial player at best, not top 4 in SA

  • Rob Rabbit - 2011-05-18 09:56


  • On the Verge - 2011-05-18 10:04

    Peter Grant was poor last week, and was shown up against good opposition. Lambie has shown that for a youngster he has BMT, and also has the X-factor. I'd take both Steyn and Lambie to the World Cup and rotate them, with Fourie Du Preez and Pienaar as my first choice no. 9's (sorry Sarel).

      Steyts - 2011-05-18 14:45

      Sorry to say, but Ricky Januarie will be the back up to Fourie du Preez... Pienaar will be used as a utility back.

  • BOKLDN - 2011-05-18 10:40

    Grant was poor on Saturday and against the Reds if I recall. Don't think he will get the nod. Lambie is the understudy. Steyn is the current king and will probably get the golden boot at the RWC. Think the Sharks can win this saturday and start a push for no. 1 in SA conference. Stormers need to beat the blues and the Chiefs need to beat the Crusaders. That should keep the Bulls in the hunt, especially if the Lions can upset the Waratahs. It has taken a while but starting to feel as the the SA teams are starting to dominate this competition, especially if my wishlist comes true this weekend. Cheetahs to edge a resurgent Rebels, or thrash a downbeat version of the team.

  • rugby_guru - 2011-05-18 10:48

    What's cool about this, if we have numbers for the world cup. No excuse for us not to do well

  • Steyts - 2011-05-18 14:48

    This is no contest!!! Lambie will make Steyn look pathetic! Probably mostly because he is pathetic at the moment... Lets hope he finds the form he showed 2 years ago before the world cup because we all know p divvy will take him along. If he doesn't find form, then we are royally screwed!!

      Plesierspier - 2011-05-19 01:26

      Steyts, i guess the inbreeding hasn't done you any favours

  • Plesierspier - 2011-05-18 15:25

    Poor Lambie, he's gonna cry like a school kid who lost his ice-cream!

      Malcolm - 2011-05-18 22:52

      Just like Morne cried when Lambie taught him a lesson in the Currie Cup semi-final last year hey? Morne put one of his boring up-and-unders on Lambie, who caught it on his try line in the pouring rain.

      Plesierspier - 2011-05-19 01:28

      @Cunt Malcolm Well done Lambie for taking that kick, no question. And so according to you that kick makes Morne a stupid idiot who can't play rugby. What would you have done at that stage, Mr Rugby brain?

      mozzer - 2011-05-19 03:27

      if I was Morne, I would have kicked another..then another..then another.....then another....then another..............then another......then another. You are right Plesierspier, Morne is a rugby genius

  • GraemeBB - 2011-05-18 15:31

    Why is everyone looking at this contest? The BIGGEST contest this weekend must be Terreblanche against Pretorius!! Who is going to crack the nod as the outside centre for the SA Legends??

      rugby_guru - 2011-05-18 15:39

      What so you mean by that?

      Plesierspier - 2011-05-19 01:25

      I agree GraemeBB, or they can have a contest to see who's got the biggest prostate of the two.

  • clivegoss - 2011-05-18 15:49

    Sport 24 Geagte Mnr JJ Harmse. Skryf oor die spel. Dit vind op die veld plaas. Daar word daar nie bespiegel nie, die spel en die speel daarvan is al wat tel. Daar moet nog baie water in die see loop voor die wereld beker, en die aard van rugby is, dat beide losskakels beseer kan/sal wees met die oorhoopse klomp rugby wat huidiglik gepleeg word. Vertel ons liewer van hoeveel diepte daar op los skakel in Suid Afrika is. Dir behoort ons almal baie lank besig te hou! !

  • Carl Muller - 2011-05-18 15:53

    It is time they bring in new and fresh (young) blood in the team. Look at O'Connor from Australia.... These slow old men that just hang around and only play 40 of the 80 minutes should all retire.

  • waine - 2011-05-18 16:07

    When deciding on Lambie or Steyn for the Bok no 10 position, one must not be clouded by one's affection for your provincial team. I am an avid Shark supporter but I would prefer Steyn to start over Pat in a contest between our two biggest threats, Australia and the All Blacks. as much as I like him. Steyn has a proven track record and knows how to work with our best scrum half, Fourie Du preez. Lambie tends to miss penalty kicks more than Steyn, and in a tightly contested match it is almost criminal to miss these vital penalty kicks.

      Adop - 2011-05-18 17:27

      I agree. Steyn has the experience to keep a team in the game, but Div said something which makes sense. The question was why play a player for the last minute of a match. It counts as a game/test played and the opposition look at the number of tests played and then form a game plan. If you plan a game and the flyhalf has zero tests where will you put the pressure? So again JJ Harmse managed to create controversy with the supporters and I tell you the coach thought only of giving Lambie a number tests. The same will happen in the tri-nations.

      BardofAvon - 2011-05-18 23:14

      Agreed, waine. All this Morne-or-not-Morne talk is bibble-babble. There is no way on God's green rugby field that the coach won't choose Steyn. The other newbies might get a run-on but only if the scoreboard is not in any danger.

  • Adop - 2011-05-18 17:21

    Fkyhalf can only perform well if the forwards are in the game. The Bulls forwards have not been 100% therefore Steyn couldn't get in the half to make his 100 pt as suggested in the article. This weekend Peter Grant was poor, Lionel Cronje is much better, even S Ebersohn and E Jantjes performed better on the weekend.

  • Plesierspier - 2011-05-19 01:23

    Who's Lambie?

      mozzer - 2011-05-19 03:25

      the guy your wife dreams she is shagging when she is with you

      Plesierspier - 2011-05-20 05:07

      @mozzer O, soos ek gese het dan, Lambie is 'n klein n@aier. So jy se dis sy sterk punt, wel dan moet hy hou daarby want uit rugby gaan hy nie veel regkry nie!

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  • Anneleen - 2011-05-19 08:20

    Lambie and Sharks for life!!!

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