Sias Ebersohn wants to be like Jonny
March 11, 2013
The Force were unable to hold off the charging Bulls
After spending years idolising England great Jonny Wilkinson, Western Force recruit Sias Ebersohn is ready to make his own mark in rugby ranks.
Ebersohn's kicking game is his greatest strength, like Wilkinson, with the South African's knack of nailing drop goals and long-range penalties on display in the 36-26 loss to the Bulls in round three. Ebersohn scored 16 points with six-of-seven kicking, in stark contrast to the opening two rounds of the season in which Sam Christie and Kyle Godwin struggled badly with the boot.
But Ebersohn wants to be known for more than just his kicking game, and says he needs to look no further than Wilkinson for inspiration.
"He can do anything," Ebersohn said of Wilkinson, who lifted England to IRB Rugby World Cup glory in 2003 with a last-gasp drop goal against Australia. "He can tackle, kick, pass, and he's a good communicator. Some other guys are good in defence, but not as good in attack. Or they're good in attack, but not a good goalkicker. But for me as a young kid growing up, he was the whole package. Maybe he'll make the [British & Irish Lions] tour and I'll be fortunate enough to play him in their warm-up game against the Force. That would be perfect."
Ebersohn, who notched 30 caps for the Cheetahs over three seasons, was lured to the Force on a two-year deal as one of the club's foreign developing players. But the fly-half had second thoughts about the move when he was overlooked for a starting role in favour of Christie during the opening two rounds of the season.
"I felt, 'Did I make the right choice? Why did I come here?' All those types of questions pop into your head. But hopefully my performance [against the Bulls] will be good enough to give me another start."
The winless Force are rank outsiders for their match against Queensland Reds at Suncorp Stadium in round five, but they will fancy their chances against anyone if Ebersohn maintains his kicking form.
Ebersohn, 24, nailed two drop goals against the Bulls, and said he wasn't afraid to kick on goal in open play. "It's not a first option, but it's just nice to have that as a weapon." he said.
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham