Time to back Mornè Steyn

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Morne_underfire Steve Haag Gallo Images Morne Steyn has some adjustments to make.

Before I even start, let me make one thing clear – I am in no way biased towards the Bulls and I am no relation to Mornè Steyn.

Right, what is it with everyone who all of a sudden wants Steyn chucked out of the Springbok team, just because he’s missed a few kicks at goal?

Has everyone forgotten that this is the same man who converts 90% of his kicks at goal – that’s 9/10 – when wearing the colours of the Bulls. Steyn is a prolific goal-kicker, perhaps the best this country has produced in years, and a few poor kicking displays doesn’t all of a sudden make him a rubbish kicker.

Sure, it’s a little concerning he’s not knocking them all over and it’s fortunate those misses haven’t cost the Boks against England, but players of Steyn’s calibre will always return to form and again become a match-winner.

Whether he’ll admit it or not, I’m convinced the change in kicking coach, from Vlok Cilliers at the Bulls to Louis Koen at the Boks, has influenced him, even if only in the slightest, and that’s something he and the team management will have to come to terms with.

Whatever the reason for his sub-standard success rate, it’s imperative that Steyn be allowed to regain his confidence… the Bok kicker can’t afford to be missing so many, not with big Tests against Australia and New Zealand coming up.

Besides the wayward goal-kicking on Saturday at Coca-Cola Park, I thought Steyn had a very good game. He certainly isn’t one-dimensional and the Bok back division looks more threatening than it did for a long time in the four years Peter de Villiers was in charge. And that’s with a so-called Bulls-forwards-orientated-approach coach in Heyneke Meyer and a No 10 who, seemingly, kicks far too often.

Steyn is a steady operator and he’s rarely let a side down over the years but I also get the feeling Meyer is just waiting for Johan Goosen to return from injury before making a change at flyhalf. Goosen is certainly the future of the Boks at flyhalf and he seems like a player who can do everything Steyn does, and a whole lot more besides.

Then there are the likes of Elton Jantjies, who I’d love to see in a team with stars all around him, Pat Lambie and Peter Grant, who are all good enough to play Test rugby.

But Steyn’s the man in the hot seat right now and South Africa should be backing him; he’s given plenty to the Boks and the Bulls over the years and deserves better than to be so harshly criticised. – The Star



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