Steyn chases his own record
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
Cape Town - Bulls flyhalf Morne Steyn has moved to outright
leader on the 2013 Super Rugby points-scoring table after his highly
influential showing in the narrow 18-16 triumph by the SA conference leaders
over the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
Steyn and the Chiefs’ currently injured Gareth Anscombe were
locked on 163 points each ahead of the latest round of fixtures, but with the
latter inactive through a foot fracture – he is only tipped to return after the
June Test recess - the Bulls man grabbed his chance to get well ahead.
The Springbok kicked almost unerringly in a tense derby,
grabbing all his team’s points on the humid night with six penalties to advance
to 181 personal points for the season, and he has a chance to secure further
daylight between himself and Anscombe when the Bulls tackle the Cheetahs in a
key Bloemfontein clash this Saturday (19:10) and the Chiefs have a bye anyway.
Steyn’s tidy haul also increases the possibility that he
will seriously threaten or even eclipse his all-time Super Rugby record of 263
individual points, ironically achieved in the last season of a more compressed
Super 14 competition in 2010, when the Bulls won the trophy for a third time.
The Bulls have four guaranteed fixtures left under the
conference system, introduced in 2011, so if Steyn was to average just above 20
points per game in that quartet of derbies, he would get there.
But his task will be
made easier if the Bulls, as certainly anticipated at this stage, crack the
playoffs phase which could add anything from one to three extra games for them
and significantly reduce the average number of points required by the
machine-like Steyn to beat his landmark.
Should they finish the conference phase second on the
overall log, the slot they occupy at present, the Bulls would go straight to a
home semi-final and not have to worry about a “qualifier” match ahead of it.
Steyn, who lies second only to Crusaders legend Dan Carter
for most points in Super Rugby history, has contributed two tries, 21
conversions, 42 penalties and a dropped goal thus far.
Last year another Chiefs player, Aaron Cruden, ran Steyn’s
season record fairly close, registering 251 points for the first-time
Although on the losing side on Saturday, Steyn’s Sharks and
Bok rival Pat Lambie became the fourth player of the year – behind Steyn,
Anscombe and the Brumbies’ Christian Lealiifano – to get to the 150-point mark
Another South African, the Stormers’ Joe Pietersen, is just
10 points shy of joining that club.
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