Steyn's penalty 'cost' WP R10m
Cape Town – Morné Steyn may have been born in the Cape, but his penalty for the Blue Bulls minutes before full-time in last year’s Currie Cup semi-final at Newlands cost Western Province R10m.
The chairperson of WP’s finance committee, Zelt Marais, revealed the full implication of WP’s failure to get a home final when the union on Monday announced its financial statements for the year ending 31 October 2009.
Steyn struck the decisive penalty minutes before the end after Fijian wing Sireli Naqelevuki’s high tackle on Jaco Pretorius.
Province were leading 19-18, but Steyn’s brilliant kick two minutes before the end condemned them to a 19-21 defeat.
“Had the team succeeded in making the final, there would have been an additional R10m for the group and the profit would have looked very different,” said Marais.
Naqelevuki is expected to be on the Stormers’ bench again for Friday night’s Super14 match against the Brumbies at Newlands.
While the figure of R10m is likely to infuriate Capetonians all over again when he takes the field, the perspective should be kept that other mistakes were also made prior to the disastrous high tackle.
Furthermore, the financial picture at WP is looking a lot less bleak than a few years ago.
There is a book loss of R88 000 for the year, but that can be put down to the depreciation of the stadium.
Province’s profit for the last financial year is in the region of R3m, which is encouraging as it was not reliant on the sale of property as in the previous year.
However, the benefits of a winning team were underlined on Monday. If the Stormers and WP make the Super14 and Currie Cup finals this year, it can strengthen the union with up to R25m, according to Marais.
“We realise we are part of a big company and have a responsibility. The players have acquitted themselves well so far,” said Stormers coach Allister Coetzee.
The Stormers are well on track after consecutive wins over the Lions and Waratahs.
They will have to take on the Brumbies without captain Schalk Burger and loosehead prop Wicus Blaauw.
Burger injured his hamstring early in the game against the Waratahs. Pieter Louw replaced him and his inclusion is likely to be the only change in the starting line-up.
Burger’s injury is not serious and should not keep him sidelined for more than 10 days.