Wales

Steyn power drives Boks

Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:16
Jan-serfontein-_-morne-stey

While quicksilver fullback Willie le Roux took all the shine in the Springboks' comprehensive victory over the Welsh in Durban last Saturday, Morne Steyn also played one of his best games in the green and gold in a long time.

The 29-year-old Steyn may be better known for his deft kicking, but against the Welsh he exhibited a skill-set rarely seen.

Although the former Bulls stalwart turned in a flawless kicking display with five conversions and a penalty, his distribution was superb, while he also attacked the line with intent.

And while Le Roux proved to be a nuisance to the Welsh by keeping them guessing, Steyn turned up the pressure with pin-point accurate kicks behind the defences.

"For me it is just great to be here and I am just enjoying my rugby, it is great to be back with all the guys, guys who I've been playing with for a long time," Steyn said.

Last year the long-time halfback combination of Steyn and Fourie du Preez was resuscitated when the former was cleared to play in the Springbok colours.

Two seasons ago Steyn came under severe scrutiny for a slump in form, but has since steadily improved.

Young pretenders have made serious challenges to his throne as the incumbent Springbok flyhalf, but Steyn remains a crucial cog of the team's machinery.

Having a familiar face on his inside certainly contributed to Steyn playing with calm confidence.

While the experience of Du Preez adds to the equation, Steyn had the youthful Jan Serfontein on his outside receiving his first starting berth.

Serfontein played with confidence that belies his 21 years as he passed his first true test with distinction.

"I think Jan just showed last week what he's made of and what type of rugby he can play. As a 21-year-old the type of leadership he takes on the field and his communication next to me makes it easier for me," Steyn said.

"Fourie on my inside makes it so much easier for me and I enjoy playing next to him."

Playing in France, Steyn has been used sparingly by Stade Francais where he often came on off the bench.

Steyn was quizzed on what the effect bench warming had on his game, and he believed it effectively rejuvenated his game.

"I want to play every Test and you always thinking are you playing enough for the Bok coach to pick you, but it was a good thing for me to take a break," he said.

"I want to play every game and you don't like it when you sit on the bench, but I think it was a good thing for me not to play all the games.

"I put in the hard yards in the Super 15 the previous year."

SAPA

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