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Goosen gets Bok all-clear

Thu, 04 Oct 2012 08:28
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Obviously it is a big concern
Quote-end

Rookie flyhalf Johan Goosen will be South Africa's first-choice goal-kicker against New Zealand in Soweto on Saturday.

The Springbok team management confirmed on Thursday that Goosen had "passed his fitness test" and will be fine to take kicks at goal.

Bok coach Heyneke Meyer delayed the decision on who would be his first-choice goal-kicker, after a heel injury hampered Goosen in the 31-8 win over Australia last week - which saw the kicking duties being handed to scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar after two failed attempts by the No.10.

However, Goosen came through his kicking test on Wednesday afternoon with flying colours and on Thursday was cleared to resume the kicking duties - both at goal and out of hand.

"He is fine," the Bok management said.

Meyer said Wednesday that he expects nothing less than an 80 percent strike rate against the All Blacks in Soweto on Saturday.

The poor goal-kicking, especially of Morné Steyn, has been a major discussion point this year and Meyer admitted it remains a concern - especially after Johan Goosen and Ruan Pienaar managed a poor 30 percent success rate between them against the Wallabies at Loftus Versfeld last week.

In fact, in only two games this year did the Boks' success rate go above 50 percent - when Morné Steyn kicked 100 percent in the opening Rugby Championship Test against Argentina at Newlands and his 83 percent strike rate against Australia in Perth.

"Obviously it is a big concern," Meyer said, when asked about a season of kicking horrors.

"I don't want to put more pressure on the kickers because they really are kicking well in training," he said.

"If you look at the [internationals this] year, there is only two games [Tests] where we kicked more than 50 percent. At international level the guys kick 75 percent plus.

"We probably could have won seven out of eight if [Tests] if we kicked better."

Meyer said New Zealand are a quality outfit and if South Africa want to win at Soccer City on Saturday they will have to kick 80 percent plus.

"I am worried about that," the Bok mentor said, adding: "You can't outscore them by just scoring tries, you [also] have to kick your goals.

"If you put them under pressure you have to convert that into points. If they play with freedom and are not under pressure [on the scoreboard] they can punish you."

Meyer felt there are great kickers in the Bok team and it is just a matter of time before they click.

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