It’s great to have Pat
First-choice Springbok flyhalf Morné Steyn could miss next weekend’s Test against Scotland due to a back injury.
Steyn went off in the 18th minute of Saturday’s 24-15 win over Wales in Cardiff after succumbing to the pain of a back spasm.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer revealed the flyhalf actually suffered the spasm prior to kick-off and played through the pain until he could no longer run.
“I was worried about him. Just after the warm-up his back went into spasm. We thought it would release but he couldn’t run at all and we don’t want to risk any injury going forward,” Meyer said.
Meyer was hopeful Steyn would recover in time for Sunday’s Test at Murrayfield but said they’d only know more on the severity of Steyn’s condition following tests on Monday.
“It’s not a big injury and the fact that we brought him off quite early helped. This is a seven-day turnaround so we have a bit more time but the great thing is we’re starting to build depth now.”
The Springbok coach admitted losing Steyn was a major blow but praised Pat Lambie, who moved to flyhalf after starting in the No.15 jersey, and Willie le Roux, who filled the void at fullback.
“It was a big setback early in the game,” said Meyer.
“I wanted to see Pat at fullback and then he came in at 10, but I think Willie did brilliantly. He was under pressure from the previous game. Defensively he was great, he’s worked really hard on his kicking game and contesting in the air.
“This is a total different game. This isn’t Championship rugby. You can’t play from scrums, you don’t get any quick ball and our tactical kicking was much better so that was probably the difference on the day.”
Meyer said he had planned to give Lambie an opportunity at flyhalf at a later stage of the end-of-tour but said his performance at the Millennium Stadium highlighted the depth in the squad.
“I definitely wanted to give him a run at 10 as well and now he’s played a whole game there and he did well. With him suddenly at 10 and JP [Pietersen] and Mossie [Jaque Fourie] coming in there was suddenly a lot of mix in the backline. They cut us once or twice in the beginning but the guys readjusted well and it showed the experience,” he said.
“It’s great to have Pat there. You need at least 35 great players and two great 10s and I thought he did well. We’re in a great position at this stage, [having] two great flyhalves, and hopefully Johan Goosen can also push hard for the team in the next year or two.”