The spar against the burglar was a non-event due to the level difference - I tried to even thing sup by only using a limited range of skills but as indication of my incompetence I inadvertently launched some unknown skill which one-shotted him half way through the fight. Probably not a good idea given that the burglar was actually my kinship leader in disguise.
The minstrel fight could have been interesting if I had my head screwed on. DPS versus healer is always going to be an uphill struggle for the DPS but I think I could have put up a better showing by using horns to stun and clobber to interrupt at critical moments. As it was he stunned me and took about half my health with a blast of light damage (piercing cry I think) before I landed a blow and went on to whittle me down while he easily healed his way through my attacks.