I’m of the opinion, and it might be a harsh opinion, and one that not everyone would agree with, but if the national selectors aren’t willing to step out of their comfort zone and leave the reliability of Morne Steyn at home so that they can find a Flyhalf that can do more than just kick at goal, no amount of chopping and changing will help the Springboks
We’ve built this cushy wall behind a Flyhalf that will convert all his kicks and never take any chances of making mistakes on the field and it has closed our eyes to the possibilities that other young talented Flyhalves could bring to our game. We’re stuck in a bit of fear, our comfort zone has closed us up and although Meyer must be a little curious how another Flyhalf will fair in Morne’s place, it seems that this fear is stopping him from taking the chance to find out.
In Patrick Lambie and Elton Jantjies South Africa have two very bright talents who have been playing outstanding rugby for their unions and have been an integral part of their success for the past 2 years. It doesn’t even matter which one of these two players you prefer as either would be a better option than our unimaginative incumbent flyhalf. Whichever player does get the opportunity however, should get at least 3 or 4 starts (meaning the rest of the Rugby Championship) to see if they could be the answer at 10 for the Boks.
Other better options at this moment would be Peter Grant, if he is available, although he looked frazzled under pressure in the S15 semi final, he has still been delivering better rugby than Steyn for the past 3 years and kicks just as well and better. My objection to his selection is age, especially given the fact that we have plenty of young talented players in this position.
If Pat and Elton do not cut the mustard, a few other options are still available that would be better than what we are sticking with now. Johan Goosen, although he might be more in the same mold as Morne, could still be a better option and at some point it would be interesting to see if he was worth all the hype (I’m thinking with Heyneke Meyer in charge we’ll see that happening sooner rather than later anyway).
Two players who has already played fly-half for South Africa, but was never really given a decent shot to prove themselves in this position, Ruan Pienaar and Frans Steyn, could also be given a shot at Flyhalf. The only problem with this selection would be the players’ desire to commit to this position for the Boks again, given the bad experiences they both had with playing there before. The only reason Ruan was dropped by the previous Springbok coach was his kicking accuracy, something that has not been a problem after that game.
Frans Steyn on the other hand has never really settled at flyhalf, but the main problem he had in this position before was his immaturity and the amount of bad errors that went with this, but at 25 years of age he has shown a good amount of maturity at inside centre and might just be ready to shift into this role. This would also give Jean de Villiers the opportunity to move back into the inside centre position where he has played all of his rugby (up until Heyneke Meyer) and where he made a name for himself as one of the best.
It might seem unfair to poor Morne Steyn to go to these lengths to find a permanent replacement for the 28 year old, when really, in his 39 tests for South Africa he hasn’t done much wrong, especially when you consider the main reason he was selected in the first place. The fact is Morne was never selected because he was an outstanding flyhalf, but rather because he was an outstanding kicker and a solid flyhalf. In all honesty it’s not that I think Morne should be dropped, but that since his selection, which was prompted by one bad kicking performance, other players who kicks just as well (or good enough) has emerged who also have a complete passing, running, creating and a better general ability of reading and controlling the game from this position.
Morne should not be dropped. Our car broke down and had to be sent to the workshop. A courtesy car was sent and reliably took us everywhere, but now that the Mercedes Benz AMG (I like the AMG, but you get the idea – take your pick) is ready to go and has been for 3 years we shouldn’t be driving the courtesy (or whatever smaller, cheaper, car they had available) anymore. It’s time to pull a few of the better, stronger, sportier models out of the garage and see how they run!Tweet