Frans Steyn’s outstanding drop goal of nearly 60m in Saturday’s Currie Cup clash between the Sharks and the Free State Cheetahs in the Absa Stadium here is something his team-mates have almost become used to.
Pieter Jordaan reports for Volksblad that Steyn further enhanced his reputation as a long-range sharpshooter on Saturday when, despite a strong squall, he slotted the drop goal that became a defining moment in the Sharks’ 22-10 win.
The Sharks were consequently able to remain at the top of the log and are riding the crest of the wave after six successive wins.
Sharks coach John Plumtree spoke with admiration about Steyn’s talents during a post-match media conference. “During the captain’s practice he hit the mark eight times from 50m away – but don’t write about that,” teased Plumtree; “he’ll just get a swollen head.”
“I told him previously he would be an effective fullback, because he would get more such opportunities in big matches.
“He then said he believed he would be able to do it from where he plays now (inside centre), so he has proved me wrong.”
Would like to play flyhalf
The debate about Steyn’s best position is nothing new and his excellent performance at inside centre against the Currie Cup champions has again raised the question whether this position – in which he played for South Africa in last year’s World Cup final – may not be his best after all.
His powerful runs tested the Cheetahs’ midfield, but Steyn himself has said this year that he would like to play flyhalf.
The news that the current Bok flyhalf, Butch James, intends retiring from Test rugby at the latest after next year’s series between the Springboks and the British Lions, could see Steyn once again coming to the fore as favourite for the Bok flyhalf position.
Frenchman Frederic Michalak was the Sharks’ flyhalf against the Cheetahs on Saturday, but returns to France later this year.
Plumtree was not too concerned afterwards that despite several opportunities, his team could not score a bonus point for four tries.
But he was very pleased about the Sharks’ first victory over the Cheetahs since 2003.
“Our set pieces worked beautifully and our lineouts were also pretty good, even though we lost one or two.
“But it didn’t look as if we would lose and I must say our defence was also outstanding,” he said.
The team’s depth and the impact made by Springbok players like Tendai Mtawarira, Ryan Kankowski and Adrian Jacobs as replacements will also definitely be strong points for the Sharks in their remaining Currie Cup matches.Tweet