Morne Steyn and that series-winning kick

Readers of Sport24 have named Morne Steyn as the man who delivered the performance of 2009.

According to Sport 24 editor Andrew Lanning, more than 8 000 votes were counted in deciding on the Performance, Plonker and Picture of 2009.

“The Sport24 awards are unique in two ways: they are about a single performance rather than an aggregated effort over 12 months, and the winners are decided by the Sport24 readers,” said Sport24. “So if a sportsman or woman is nominated for three different performances in three different months, as our winner was, then in effect they compete with themselves for the ‘Performance of the Year’. Their votes do not get added together—the awards are based on individual performances in a given month.”

According to Lanning, Steyn was nominated three times (decided by readers on a monthly basis), but it was his monster 53m penalty—which sealed the series, and the second Test, against the British and Irish Lions—that clinched the Performance of the Year award for him.

“Steyn saw off another magnificent performance from Graeme Smith. His decision to go out to bat at No 11, while nursing two painful injuries, to try to save the dead-rubber Test for his country at the Sydney Cricket Ground is the stuff of folklore. The skipper’s never stood accused of lacking old-fashioned guts,” said Sport24.

The winner in the category for Plonker of the Year went to Ras Dumisani.

“In the much more tongue-in-cheek category, given that sport cannot always be a serious business, we note with much humour that Ras Dumisani has been voted the ‘Plonker of the Year’ by the Sport24 readers —”

Dumisani gave “probably the most infamous and incompetent rendition of the national anthem ever, as [he] fluffed his lines to the bemusement or downright anger of the Springboks before their Test defeat to France late last year ... “

Of the 12 images for readers to choose from, the runaway winner, with 34% of the votes, was the one Sport24 called “Dakar 2009” by Gabriel Bouys of AFP:

How the votes played out:

Performance of the Year:
June—Morne Steyn 33,4%
January—Graeme Smith 23,8%
July—Morne Steyn 9,3%
September—Fourie du Preez 9%
August—Heinrich Brussow 8,1%
May—Morne Steyn 4,2%
February—Pierre Spies 2,7%
December—Bryan Habana 2,7%
October—Fourie du Preez 1,7%
March—Jonathan Kaplan 1,7%
April—AB de Villiers 1,6%
November - Cameron vd Bergh 1.3%

Plonker of the Year:
November—Ras Dumisani 31,7%
September—Leonard Chuene 19,2%
August—Athletics SA 14,9%
October—Joost vd Westhuizen 11,3%
February—Cheeky Watson 6,8%
January—OJ Mabizela 4,3%
June—Peter de Villiers 3%
May - The Sharks 2,7%
April - Butana Komphela 2,3%
July—Peter de Villiers 1,7%
March—Benni McCarthy 1.1%
December—Rayno Benjamin 0,5%

Picture of the Year:
“Dakar 2009” by Gabriel Bouys of AFP Photo—34% of the votes

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