Morné Steyn’s excellent performance for the Bulls on Saturday raised plenty of eyebrows, including those in the British and Irish Lions’ practice.
Stephen Nell writes for Sport 24 that The Lions coach, Ian McGeechan, upon arrival on Monday, gave the impression that the Lions had taken note of good individual performances by South Africans in the run-up to the long-awaited Test series.
“Four drop goals in a match is not bad to give us a heads-up,” said McGeechan.
“I’m also convinced that Peter de Villiers (Springbok coach) is very happy that various players who are part of his team are currently playing good rugby. It was quite impressive of the Bulls to come back the way they did … Peter definitely has several options among his loose forwards.”
The big question remaining after Steyn’s performance, is whether it was good enough to make the Bok squad ahead of Ruan Pienaar?
Naas Botha, Henry Honiball and Braam van Straaten, three previous Bok fly-halfs, most certainly think so.
“He (Steyn) must be a sure pick against the Lions. He gave good performances throughout the Super 14, and he was once again excellent against the Crusaders on Saturday,” is Botha’s opinion.
“He does everything brilliantly. All that remains is a chance for him to make his mark at Test level. The fact that he’s good at drop kicking is equally important. When the Bulls needed points at crucial times, he was the one who kept the scoreboard rolling,” continued Botha.
Van Straaten is as adamant: “In Test rugby there is no place for elaborate moves. His tactical kicking is excellent, he knows how to keep the ball in front of his forwards, and how to make his opponents turn around. It is clear that both he and Vlok Cilliers (the Bulls’ kicking coach) spent quite some time polishing his kicking. His four drop goals against the Crusaders bear testimony to this. He seems to be the solution for South Africa against the Lions.”
Honiball also believes Steyn deserves a place in the Bok group for his consistently excellent performance throughout the Super 14.
“He is playing the best rugby of his career, and has more strengths than any other would-be fly-half. On Saturday he played a very big role in the Bulls’ victory over the Crusaders. He must be a shoo-in for the Bok squad.” said Honiball.Tweet