Steyn to shake off kicking woes

2012-04-18 08:54

Johannesburg - It won’t be the first time that his kicking is in the spotlight, but this time Springbok flyhalf Morne Steyn will be looking to return to old ways when he faces the Brumbies at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

For a player known as Mr Reliable, the 2012 Vodacom Super Rugby season hasn’t quite matched his high standards, and his three out of eight against the Lions last week was definitely not the performance he was hoping to achieve for his team on the day.

But when you’re known as the dead shot of international rugby, when fans expect you simply not to miss, any deviation can be seen as a slump and right now the task is to pick himself out of this one.

There is no doubt that a few misses doesn’t make Steyn any worse for wear, but with international rugby being a game of inches, those vital points are often the difference between winning and defeat, a trend that Bok fans know all too well from all the close victories he has kicked them too.

Still, Steyn has missed 12 kicks this season, which is uncharacteristically high for him, and with a number of young upstarts snapping at his heels, should serve as enough motivation to right the wrong. Last season’s figure of 79% is slightly down to 72% this season, but still high in international standards. But for a kicker that normally averages above 80%, this will need to improve.

Steyn’s kicking coach Vlok Cilliers believes it’s only a matter of time for the Bok pivot to regain his confidence, and that a dip in form is inevitable when you play at such a high standard for so long. To help Steyn right, Cilliers has shifted his kicking practice from the traditional B-field to the main stadium, ostensibly to help focus.

“I don’t think there is anything wrong with his technique. If one looks at the last six to seven years, all the sportsman go through a slump and I think it is the same with Morne who is going through a bit of a dip.In the last five to six games there has been nothing wrong with his technique, he just needs to work harder and harder and doing what we normally do in the last few years,” Cilliers said.

“I don’t think we are doing anything different from the last few years, we are still putting in the same amount of hours into training on all aspects. At the moment his kicking out of hand is brilliant and is standing at 85% success rate. We just have to speed up his kicking at poles and I think he will be ready on Saturday. i also think the people will see the old Morne that they are used to seeing.”

Cilliers also has hit out against some of the criticism that Steyn has received in recent times, saying because fans were used to Steyn’s impeccable kicking form, they were overreacting to the way he had taken a dip.

“I think the people are too harsh on him and I believe that it is because of the high standard he has put on himself with a kicking record of 85 to 90%. He is used to kicking over and now he is missing and suddenly people are on our case wanting to know what is wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with him and as i said before he will be back on Saturday,” Cilliers added.

Steyn is set to start the Test series against England as the incumbent but knows all too well he needs to regain his kicking form soon. But for a player who started off being tagged as a running flyhalf and made the shift easily into the kicking role, the hard work will pay off.

It’s not a matter of if, but rather when it will happen though.


  • Lionel - 2012-04-18 09:00

    Is the pressure maybe getting to him knowing that Goosen.Lambie,Jantjies are breathing down his neck for the Bok 10 jersey???Just a question before I get blasted from up North:):):)

      lourens.jordaan - 2012-04-18 11:22

      Vir die Bokke is Goosen in alle fasette van die game beter as Steyn. Gaan kyk mooi na die allover van die laatie.

      chris.lategan - 2012-04-18 11:35

      I found it strange that Butch James was part of the World Cup squad and even Jantjies was called up, but not Peter Grant. He had the highest accuracy rate of any kicker in Super Rugby last year. He's cool and calm, has a great strategic mind and defends like, well...a Stormer. He currently has a 100% kicking rate in 2012. That's right, he hasn't missed once. The guy deserves a shot.

      Brendon - 2012-04-18 14:37

      This can be true, but the fact remains that Morne has the experience and remains Mr. cool during the times when presure is being placed on the bokke! I believe that the only person that will be able to be the next kicker will be one of the players that have had some experience like Lambie, but he also needs to step up on his game!! ps. I am a proud Bulls surporter

      Saffa - 2012-04-18 15:24

      @Lionel Jantjies?! Well, say no more, you also reckon the Stormers is the best Super rugby franchise

  • Doc - 2012-04-18 09:17

    Many kickers in SR would love to have a 72% average never mind a "slump" to 72%. He has set such high standards for himself though and I am sure he will want to get back to the top. By the time SR season is over he will be peaking again for sure, just in time to take on England. GO BULLS!

      Ren%c3%a9 - 2012-04-18 09:47

      @Sakkie, howdy! Chill brother, you guys are pulling the VM thing way out of proportion. The abuse that VM had to endure personally since this whole thing started, is pathetic, shocking and totally uncalled for. If VM has to play for the Bokke as captain for a while, is it really the end of the world, no it is NOT. I wish people will just think for a second VM's position, a man he respects/trusts asks him to be his captain (ALL SPECULATION OFF COURSE), wth is the man to do??? I think it is a difficult situation for VM and therefore no decisions have been made to date. I for one, will support VM if he decides to make a short comeback - That's my view anyway - I will not say much further until an official announcement has been made. I HATE RUMOURS!!!!!

      Christian J Denyschen - 2012-04-18 09:59

      kon dit nie beter gestel het nie stem 100% saam Rene.

      Stormkaap - 2012-04-18 10:33

      Isak what about Mof Myburgh, Piston van Wyk and Thys lourens.. a real graet captain for the Bokke

      Harry - 2012-04-18 10:49

      I agree Stormkaap, cause there's definitely no standout as a captain among the Mountain Goats

      Japjapjap - 2012-04-18 12:35

      @sakkie- Ek stem heel hartig saam, bring daai manne terug-regte manne ne'!!! en los asb di blaarslaai bandiete op hul eilandjie. hoeraaa vir 'n goeie diep voorstel sakkas.......op di BLOU.

  • Gareth - 2012-04-18 09:22

    I think it is all aspects of his game that needs work. We dont just need a kicking flyhalf... WE NEED a master of getting over the advantage line and a 80% Kicker ALL in one, like Goosen and Lambie! and it is these 'Kids' that are rattling the softer Steyn... He cant match their physicality and attacking game. He will definatily improve on his current form. BUT A NEW nr 10 come World CUP time is INEVETABLE!!!!!

  • Terence - 2012-04-18 09:24

    Class is permanent.

      Stirrer - 2012-04-18 09:31

      Terence, what a lame statement. By your logic HM could play Mannetjies Roux at center. He's still alive.

      Ren%c3%a9 - 2012-04-18 09:51

      @Terence, 100% true. MS's general play, has improved by miles. Whatever issues he might have now can be rectified. Even guys like Johnny Wilkinson and Dan Carter had patches of poor play - it happens. MS has BMT, and has proven that over and over again.

      Terence - 2012-04-18 10:05

      Stirrer and Isak, we know that you lot at Province like to buy hasbeens, so why don't you give those guys a call?

      Stirrer - 2012-04-18 10:18

      Hasbeens? I thought you said "class is permanent", so how did they become hasbeens?

      Japjapjap - 2012-04-18 12:44

      @sak- the problem is- they chase in the wrong direction??

      Saffa - 2012-04-18 15:27

      @Stirrer And Mannetjies is still faster than joker JdV

      Tokolos - 2012-04-18 16:18

      Stirrer ou perd. F@kkit jy is rerig stupid!

  • Dirk - 2012-04-18 09:31

    Waar is die oom met die emmer vol sand? So what as Steyn nou 'n dip het? Hy sal sterker en beter hier uitkom. Dan gaan daai 'critics' wat nie eers 'n sokker bal kan reguit skop weer se, wow kyk hoe mooi skop hy nou? Bulle wen nog steeds, laat jou wonder hoe ver hulle die ouens kon klap as Steyn synced was. Dit kom, miskien die naweek? Ja, die Bulle gaan wen met penalties... check.

  • Stormkaap - 2012-04-18 10:36

    Jirre ouks i am looking forward to Pink Piggies playing the Brumbies.. One game that I hope The Pink Piggies really strut their stuff and whip those brumbies asses.. I mean really whip it..not spanky spanky but a beating!

      WernerZA - 2012-04-18 12:04

      I'd like to see jakes team braaied like a skaap tjop! Nice and crisp on the edges...

      Tokolos - 2012-04-18 16:21

      Stormpie Kaapie... If they do a brain transplant with your brain on a mossie, it will fly backwards!

  • WernerZA - 2012-04-18 11:59

    For me it's all about BMT. Steyn has always delivered... In the bok jersey and in the blue one. Let the others prove they can drag their teams through a final, or clinch a really tight series, then we can talk about making them starter boks! For now, they are great players on the day...maybe even for a few round robin games, but none of them have proven they can handle the pressure!

  • Ken - 2012-04-18 12:12

    Its one minute to go and the Boks are two points down. The ref awards the boks a penalty. Who do you want kicking that penalty?

      Tokolos - 2012-04-18 15:37

      Brok Harris or Duanne... duhhh?

      Stirrer - 2012-04-18 17:04

      Joe Pietersen.

  • pages:
  • 1