Div lauds 'No 1' pivot Steyn

2011-08-21 12:17

Port Elizabeth - Springbok coach Peter de Villiers was a mightily relieved man after his side's 18-5 Tri-Nations victory over the All Blacks at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium here on Saturday.

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He had flyhalf Morné Steyn to thank, perhaps more than any one else.

Last week, De Villiers' demeanour was vastly different after his side was defeated by the Wallabies in Durban.

The Boks were under the whip in the opening minutes in Port Elizabeth but Steyn proved his match-winning ability with accurate place-kicks from just inside the All Blacks half.

The resultant timely advances fuelled the Boks' commitment in the face of frequent first-half line breaks by the New Zealanders.

"Morné is a very good rugby player," said De Villiers.

"He knows now that he is very important to this team and that he can take the team to the World Cup when he's on song, like he was in this match.

"He's still our number one. I've never had questions about Morné.

"Sometimes you have to make these decisions, like to drop him for two games to help his development.

"I know he can take this team through a World Cup."

The victory for the South Africans had offered great relief both for the team and the country's supporters.

"The result will help us going forward and make people believe in this team again," said De Villiers.

"It was a tough game but we came through this test of character.

"We were under huge pressure and it was a just reward for all the hard work."

De Villiers said it was clear the players were starting to understand the structures that management were putting in place and said this was the reason for the Boks' good scramble defence.

"Defence is all about teamwork and playing for each other, and the guys did that in this match," he said.

The Springboks' match-day captain Victor Matfield afterwards reflected on the team's ability to play as a unit after several players had been inactive in the past few months.

"Perhaps the pleasing aspect was that this game showed we are now coming together as a team," said Matfield.

"There is still room for a lot of improvement because we want to get even better and we have a lot of work to do between now and the World Cup.

"We'll look at the match video on Monday and then work on the detail.

"I was impressed with the defence. There will always be line breaks, but the guys worked hard to get back and make the cover tackles in good time."

All Blacks coach Graham Henry was unselfish as he lauded the Boks' match-winning performance.

"They played with a lot of passion and I thought the Boks were very good," said Henry.

"They scrambled well on defence, and kicked their goals.

"On the other hand, we had six opportunities to score and only took one of them."

Henry said he had no concern over his side's game plan as they managed to create enough scoring opportunities.

"I'm sure that when we get a few of our more experienced players back, I expect that things will settle down a bit," said Henry.

Henry's assistant Wayne Smith, also praised the Boks' cover defence.

"It's not too often that you break the opposition's line 23 times and you end up losing the match," said Smith.

"But it says a lot for their [the Boks'] scrambling defence.

"It looked like we lacked patience in closing those try-scoring situations.

"I suppose it was the new combinations or just youth, or maybe South Africa's defence was just too good on the day."


  • PMG - 2011-08-21 12:31

    Steyn needs to learn to kick the ball into the stands - very quickly,or we are going to be severly punished.

      Gomez - 2011-08-21 13:26

      Very true...The Boks send out a strong warning to the rugby world yesterday.We will not be easy to beat.

      marco - 2011-08-21 14:03

      Problem with PDV is that he can't make up his mind who his best 15 are,not necessarily his first choice players but his BEST players the emphasis here being on the word BEST.Instead he keeps changing his mind the very last minute when picking a team and then too by playing people out of their position is simply ridiculous and not acceptable by any stretch of imagination.Until then he will never be considered by any rugby pundit to be say a Alex Ferguson,Jose Mourinho or Barcelona's Pep Guardiola of rugby.Listening to rugby pundits Jeremy Guscott, Jonathan Davies,Keith Wood yesterday after the France vs Ireland game on talking about your best team for the World Cup,PDV would do well to listen a little bit himself to the points these guys raised albeit being about the Northern Hemisphere's Teams,still in principle it make for good wakeup call in the Springbok camp.One victory yesterday over a second string All Black side don't paint over the cracks we still find inside the Bok team and what's been fundamentally wrong with the Bok management team and their SARU bosses since the end of 2009 season.Steyn might have saved the Springboks from an embarrassing whitewash yesterday but there are other serious issues inside the Bok camp related to their try scoring inability yesterday and last week in Durban and teams that can match Steyn's abilities with the boot will expose the Boks at those other parts of their game structure.

      MB1810 - 2011-08-22 08:22

      I agree completely with PMG. The All Blacks and the Aussies live for the counter attack and when he misses touch or does not kick the ball into the stands, they'll take it quickly and run circles around us. Otherwise I think Steyn had a good game, he defended better than I've seen him defend in a while and he even got the backline going a couple of times. It was a very well rounded performance I think.

  • Pears - 2011-08-21 12:33

    Well done Morne Steyn. If you play like this, we can win the WC again! Always knew you had it. Brussouw has to start, Burger to start at 7 and Alberts to be unleashed the last 25min. With Brussouw and Du Plessis we will win many ruck turnovers. Go Bokke!

      Grunk - 2011-08-21 14:20

      One hopes that Du Plessis has shown the Boss that being replaced by Smit doesn't go down well with him nor the rest of the team and that (by the looks of it) all respect for Smit has gone out of the window and Bissie couldn't care less about showing that point to the world over. Well done, Bissie.

      James - 2011-08-21 16:48

      agreed @Grunk. Absolutely no need to replace Bissie in full throttle. JS coming on smacked of political selecting, and he added nothing to the final 20. And Bissie clearly knew this

      Jaco Bellingan - 2011-08-21 18:10

      Agree with inclusion of Schalk - his cover defendence is excellent and will add a lot of value to the team.

      BlouBos - 2011-08-22 09:39

      From zero to hero. It just shows that it was not Morné that was the problem at 10 against the Aussies, it was the service of his scrumhalf. He was unfairly criticized against the Aussies, but that was with with Ruan SA no. 3 or 4 next to him. Then just when everybody thought that the wonderkid Lambie was the answer, he also had a miserable game om 10 with Ruan next to him. Now with SA no.1 Fourie back next to Morné he played like a match winner, even his tack tickle kicking was super.

      Krueger - 2011-08-22 12:46

      @BlouBos - The sad reality is that SA Rugby supporters tend to forget, this includes the "media". And this is a frequent occurrence! The SA Rugby supporters love to criticize him, yet they forget the joys he has brought this nation. Anyone remember the B&I Lions? Or that 30+ points he scored against the All Blacks just to name a few? Nope, they would much to prefer to see a 900+ dimensional Carter wanna-be flyhalf run around on the field, than a flyhalf that will at 99.9 % of the times kick the winning penalty or drop goal from 50 meters.

  • - 2011-08-21 12:45

    How about Morne at flyhallf and Butch James at inside centre for the JDV? At the moment he is a liabiliity and he slips a lot of tackles in evey game.

      nick - 2011-08-21 13:16

      hahaha you have no idea he made more tackles than entire sharks gang not to mention two try saving ones butch along with bismarck are walking yellow cards

      Riaan - 2011-08-21 14:54

      JDV was solid on defence saturday!

  • Lebogang - 2011-08-21 12:45

    People can say whatever. But the most important statistic is that the Boks are the ONLY side that has beaten the "overwhelming" favourites, All Blacks, at least once every year in the past 8 years (with 2010 an exception) & All Blacks know that. ONLY side that has beaten the "overwhelming" favourites, All Blacks, at least once every year in the past 8 years (with 2010 an exception) & All Blacks know that.

      Obama Bin Laden - 2011-08-21 13:02

      Nice one Lebogang. Totally on the money. Deep down the All Blacks know that the only side capable of knocking them over on their home turf are the Boks.

      StaalBurgher - 2011-08-21 13:16

      That is why when we get to the semi - we will be underdogs to the ABs definitely- but then you are two games away. Two games... and as you say they know that we are able to beat them. Not saying we will, but they know it is a reasonable possibility. There will be plenty of nervous New Zealanders come that game.

      slg - 2011-08-21 14:24

      It's a sad day when we celebrate winning against the AB's once a year. The real Springboks used to win against them the majority of the time.

      Crusaderinvader - 2011-08-22 03:37

      Rubbish, the french beat us at home a couple of seasons ago!!..don't rate your team too highly chaps..nobody else does!!

  • crozzie - 2011-08-21 12:50

    what were the linesmen actually doing in th match, bloody useless individuals, are they not supposed to help the ref on ruling on tip tackles and forward passes. Adam Thompson should have eventually been sent off.

      slg - 2011-08-21 14:27

      The refs have the IRB by the short and curlies. In every other leading sport, the officials are an afterthought. In rugby they're a main act, talked about as much as the players and game itself. Refereeing errors influence the outcome of the majority of games. It's beyond ridiculous.

  • fromthecouch - 2011-08-21 12:52

    Typical snor - the Boks win and Morne is the man, if they had lost would he still be backing him as the Bok number 1? We won end of positives.

      Mack - 2011-08-21 14:01

      The same example can be used for SA "supporters" calling for heads to roll after a below par performance and shamelessly making a u-turn after a win.Us real supporters will back the boys win or lose as long as they play with pride and honour for the country

  • GCR7 - 2011-08-21 13:00

    well done Steyn,it shows how you up your game when experience players are by your side,class player,guys like you and Habana will be so much more confident after yesterday game,awesome time to peak,now we look threatening,surely the other nations are not smiling now,keep it up

  • patrickb - 2011-08-21 13:01

    Steyn plays very well behind a stable scrum. The name that worries me is Owen Franks.

  • Durbsguy - 2011-08-21 13:17

    I must admit he played well but still worried about 1D Steyn

      BardofAvon - 2011-08-22 00:24

      The scoreboard does not have a "Remarks" column, Durbsguy. Steyn's game on Saturday was impeccable in all departments.

  • Mark Stevenson - 2011-08-21 13:20

    Ha Ha Ha Ha, if this guy thinks after this weekends game all is GOOD for the WC then I am more worried then I was before. I am as happy as anyone else we won, but they broke our defence 5 times and if it was not for forward passes they would have run in at least 3 tries. We did nothing in the backline as far as breaking thier line. And if Brussow gets injured then there will be no penalties for Morney to kick so what is our gameplan then? Like I said, I am happy we won but don't think this weekends game showed how good we are, it showed we still have a lot of hole and problems we need to try and fix before the WC.

      StephanM - 2011-08-21 18:01

      i was beginning to think that nobody actually saw the same game i did... if this is the best bok backline they are in for a lot of hurt in the WC.

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-08-21 13:29

    Liar,liar,pants on fire! That's what you never said,nor believed! You wanted Butch,Ruaan,Lambie !

      GraemeBB - 2011-08-21 13:53

      100% - Divy tried every one he could. Steyn wins games, period. Like it or not. He can also distribute the ball well. I would like to see him make better judments when to kick and when to run. I also liked Slades little chips, and had our defense guessing - Steyn can be a clever flyhalf, but needs a bit more work. But, yes, did the job we asked of him. Well done Steyn.

  • A.K - 2011-08-21 13:47

    yoh that Brussouw chap is a monster eh?! go Boks!!!!

      Riaan - 2011-08-21 15:00

      Biggest player on the field!

  • Serias - 2011-08-21 13:52

    You cannot simply kick down field against the AB's. You have to kick the ball into the stands to prevent a counter attack or quick throw in. For MS to perform,our forwards must go forward, as MS cannot play under pressure or change his style to adapt. He is simply a "go forward" flyhalf. JdV is not on song right now, and the AB centres broke the line way too easily. I know SBurger will sort this out as he is a demon on cover defence from set pieces. PSpies still a bit tentative in making contact but seems like he's getting there. Bismark is a MUST to start. And FH is a must to replace FdP during the second half. Would just replace JPP with Gio Aplon because of his kicking ability. Well,we will see in WC,but think oneor two selections for PdV is going to backfire. Hope Rassie and the defensive coach can sort out the small technical issues and please leave DMuir at home.

      Jacques - 2011-08-21 22:10

      WTF is with the initials? FFS.

      Serias - 2011-08-22 13:23


  • proudlyza - 2011-08-21 14:01

    The Boks performed like the Boks. I am a proud supporter. Where Steyn is concerned, I think it'll do DeV good to always hv someone playing to stay in the team. If Lambie was not there, I could but see an everage Steyn going around the field. Lambie gave him a wake- Up call. This should be the coaches dream to hv someone else blowing down key players's necks...That way they hv no choice but to perform...Good Job Peter....

  • dansa - 2011-08-21 14:09

    Well played Morne ... 23 linebreaks! Ouch

      StephanM - 2011-08-21 18:05

      unfortunately this is not what will be taken from this game...

  • slg - 2011-08-21 14:29

    SA will in all probability be home after the quarterfinals. Div lives in la-la-land. This was the AB's second-string team and he's cock-a-hoop.

  • Eidel - 2011-08-21 14:36

    Scrambling defence....

  • JandB - 2011-08-21 14:38

    that is great for Morne, he is good.....but.....there was a moment yesterday when he got the ball and no option to pass so instead of running it back he kicked it away (near the ABs 22) they ran it back half way down the field nearly scoring!! he is good (no doubt) but should not be afraid to run it back occasionally...that could make him even better!

  • Rob Rabbit - 2011-08-21 15:02

    So we will try and win a World Cup with old style, boring rugby, just because we beat a depleted, but more importantly, error strung NZ team? I don';t think so - hope I am wrong, but....

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-08-21 15:28

      Steyn gives us the "X-factor"

      Krueger - 2011-08-22 12:24

      Well, we did win 2x World Cups with this old and boring style of Rugby. I didn't hear anyone complain about it way back then!?

  • BRAZO - 2011-08-21 16:29

    Well done Bokke, our forwards were awesome, Morne kicked superbly. The backline were far from impressive with the ball in hand though, the AB'S backs were far more impressive when they had the ball. We still need to score trys!

      Cicero - 2011-08-21 18:24

      Have we even got backline coach?

  • rudebear - 2011-08-21 18:29

    Div u dumb ass. When did he play poorly? Answer : When he played alongside Pienaar. My Granny has a better pass than Pienaar. All the poor sods in the backline( Morne< Wynand < Juan looked like amatures when he pases the slowboat.

      Krueger - 2011-08-22 12:26

      Tiger Woods can pass!?

      Krueger - 2011-08-22 12:27

      Whoops! I meant Ruan Pienaar... my bad ;)

  • Robinson Caruso - 2011-08-21 18:49

    Where is that P888K who told me Petersen deserves his place? I told everyone before the game..dropped passes, missed tackles.....eish

  • Shark-Chic - 2011-08-22 09:01

    So glad that Morne finally got his groove back!! And Brussouw, what a champ!!!!!

  • Reader - 2011-08-22 09:16

    He cannot kick the ball out!! And he performs like this only every now and then, which is not good enough. Put him on the bench. Francois Steyn please.....! Take Fourie du Preez sommer out as well.

      Krueger - 2011-08-22 12:15

      The single neuron between your ears might be having trouble identifying good and dependable players.

      MB1810 - 2011-08-22 15:01

      Actually reader makes a good point, between Morne and Fourie Du Preez the All Blacks had tons of opportunities to run the ball at us, particularly in that first half. I sometimes wonder how NZ would react if for once we just hung onto the ball and starve the opposition of posession. Regardless though, Morne had a decent game and will probably be the go to guy, F Steyn at 10 would be a disaster, I'd much rather have him at 15 or at 12.

  • bullincapeto - 2011-08-22 09:37

    All the Habana neighsayers, he was huge, massive in fact.Would have been my man of the match.

      BardofAvon - 2011-08-22 17:41

      Except that Heinrich was incredible.

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