Oz wary of Steyn threat
Johannesburg - The Wallabies will be making a concerted effort to not give Springbok flyhalf Morne Steyn too many shots at goal when the two teams meet in their Tri-Nations clash in Sydney, Australia hooker Stephen Moore said on Wednesday.
Steyn has built a reputation as one of the world’s most accurate goal-kickers and he seems to thrive on taking high pressure kicks.
But Moore said that the Australians had discussed plans not to let Steyn’s boot dominate the game.
“We have spoken about discipline being crucial, particularly in our own half, and even further out,” Moore explained.
“He (Steyn) is a big threat because if we give away penalties he is just going to knock them over from everywhere so we have to be really disciplined,” Moore added.
Moore also laughed off suggestions that the Springboks would be hampered by the absence of 21 injured and rested players that South Africa had left out of their Tri-Nations squad.
“South Africa have enough depth that they can send a team without some of their top-line players and still be very competitive,” the combative Moore said.
“I think it is a very strong side. Most of the guys are in good form and they’ve played well throughout Super Rugby. I think they are going to be a more than worthy Springbok side and they are going to be very tough and very physical and that’s the way I have read their selection,” he added.
Moore, a veteran of 56 Tests, is renowned as a powerful scrummager and he is relishing the challenge of facing off against the ‘Boks’ debutant props Dean Greyling and Werner Greef.
“Both the new props are from the Bulls so we’ve seen a fair bit of them and I’ve played against both of them and they’ve both had really good seasons. They are both very big blokes and they will be strong scrummagers and I’m sure that that is an area where they will try and impose themselves,” said Moore.
The 28-year-old Moore was part of the Australia team which suffered a shock 32-23 defeat at the hands of Samoa just a week before the Wallabies are due to open their Tri-Nations campaign against South Africa at the ANZ Stadium on Saturday.
Moore said that the Australians had identified what went wrong against Samoa and they would need to improve on those areas otherwise South Africa could exploit those weaknesses.
“We let ourselves down around the breakdown last week. Our ball carries and our cleanout work wasn’t good enough and we just got dominated around the ruck area,” he said.
“We need to improve because the South Africans will pose a good threat to us in that area. We need a mindset of being very aggressive in that area and having a good technique. Both of those things went missing last week and those are the things that we need to fix pretty quickly,” he explained.
Despite the surprising loss to Samoa Moore said that there had been a few positives to come out of the defeat.
“As far as the set piece is concerned it was a good start for us. Last week was our first week together and we did a lot of work on our line-outs and scrums. I think it was a fair start and we hope to do a bit better this week,” he concluded.