Vlok: Steyn gives us the edge
Pretoria - The anticipated test-match atmosphere in Durban will definitely give the Bulls a sense of comfort because, according to kicking coach Vlok Cilliers, their goalkicker is one who has proved all over the world that he has big match temperament.
Cilliers said on Thursday that Bulls flyhalf Morné Steyn's kicking boot would be a factor in any game that he plays. He was speaking at the launch of a new kicking series for schools in which he and Steyn are partnering to develop more goalkickers.
"I believe that you pick the goalkicker first and then the rest of your team. How many big trophies have not been secured by an accurate kicker? The Bulls are fortunate to go to Durban with someone like Morné, who has spent hours to be able to maintain his high standards," said Cilliers.
Steyn (26) will be playing his seventh game against the Sharks in Super Rugby. He has only been on the losing side twice and notched up 63 points in those games.
In his previous appearance at this level in Durban, Steyn had the Sharks under pressure early on with two drop goals and helped secure victory for his side.
"I don't go onto the field with a preconceived plan to kick drop goals. It's a matter of summing up the situation and playing accordingly. Quite often, as is the case with the Sharks, the opponents' defence is of such a nature that there is no way through," said Steyn.
"Then you have to keep the scoreboard ticking and the momentum going with a drop goal."
Altogether three of Steyn's 20 Super Rugby drop goals have come against the Sharks.
Steyn would like to increase that tally if the situation demands it.
He will probably also score points off the kicking tee, but it's not something he necessarily wishes on other kickers.
"Durban and Cape Town are difficult places to kick. The wind swirls in an unusual manner in Kings Park and the weather is often unpredictable," said Steyn.
"The humidity is also a concern and the ball does not travel as far as it does on the Highveld. It's also a derby and the guys want to smash one another. Our challenge will be to focus on what we want to achieve in the game and not on our opponent."
15. Louis Ludik, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Stefan Terblanche (captain), 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Willem Alberts, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Alistair Hargreaves, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Eugene van Staden, 18. Gerhard Mostert, 19. Marcell Coetzee, 20. Conrad Hoffmann, 21. Adrian Jacobs, 22. Lwazi Mvovo
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Gary Botha, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Danie Rossouw, 20 Derick Kuün, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Gerhard van den Heever