England in SA
Steyn bemoans his kicking
Johannesburg - According to the high standards of Springbok pivot Morne Steyn, his place kicking was under-par in the team’s first Test against England in Durban last Saturday.
While Steyn missed a penalty attempt and two conversions, he still contributed 17 of the Springboks’ 22 points.
In the end, he succeeded with four penalty conversions and also scored one of the side’s two tries.
“For me, my kicking wasn't up to my standards, so hopefully, on Saturday, it can be better,” said Steyn on Tuesday.
Steyn also had to contend with the swirling winds in Durban but would not shift the blame for his below par performance.
“It was quite tough conditions but I think a kicker must be ready for any situation. I think it is just up to me.”
The fact that the Springboks have a new kicking guru in Louis Koen also was not responsible for his missed opportunities.
“I don’t think it (change of kicking coach) had an influence,” said Steyn.
“I think he (Koen) brought in some new things - tactics and new training stuff.
“It is good to have a change sometimes, so it is good to work with him.”
With the second Test being played in Johannesburg on Saturday and at altitude, the more familiar conditions should aid Steyn's kicking.
“I think it is better for me if it is closer to Loftus as I feel a bit more at home," Steyn said jokingly.
"When you play in Durban and Cape Town, the ball doesn't always travel the way you would like.
“I think it is going to be better here in Jo'burg.”
While his place kicking was not up to standard, the Bok flyhalf looked dangerous on attack and his ball distribution was also pleasing.
South Africa’s tactical kicking, Steyn felt, needed to be more accurate in the second Test after Koen have given the kickers an average report card.
“I think our tactical game was at 67 percent, but we want it closer to 70 to 80 percent,” Steyn said.
“So, I don’t think it was where we wanted it to be but there was some new stuff and new guys.
“I think Hougies (scrumhalf Francois Hougaard) struggled a bit with the box kicking, with the pressure on him.
“It was quite difficult for us but Saturday will be better.”
Steyn said the Boks’ technical gurus worked out the tactical percentages according to a number of factors with the main aim of getting the ball back.