Planet Rugby

Steyn more than just a kicker

19th June 2014 06:49

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Morne Steyn SA v NZ RC 2013

New lease of life: Morne Steyn

Morne Steyn's performance in attack as well as his kicking against Wales last weekend has left the pivot loving his rugby.

Steyn is most renowned within the global game for his booming right boot - that which downed the British and Irish Lions in 2009 - but on Saturday, he offered a threat with ball in hand that was the perfect foil to the magic Willie le Roux at full-back.

As well as landing all six of his shots at goal, the 29-year-old mixed up play well at first-receiver, keeping the Welsh defence on their toes with a variety of flat gain-line assaults and probing punts that turned the visiting wingers and edged the Boks inexorably downfield.

"For me it is just great to be here and I am just enjoying my rugby, it is great to be back with all the guys, guys who I've been playing with for a long time," admitted Steyn.

Though still under 30, Steyn is seen as something of a Test veteran, even within an incredibly experienced Springbok squad that features the likes of Bakkies Botha, Gurthro Steenkamp, Fourie du Preez and Victor Matfield.

It is long-time half-back partner du Preez, one of the game's top number nines, who keeps the pivot on an even keel with slick service, and arguably helped him emerge from a dip in form that drew broad criticism from the South African public.

Speaking on Wednesday, however, Steyn singled out 21-yea-old centre Jan Serfontein for special praise after the midfielder's barnstorming display in Durban.

"I think Jan just showed last week what he's made of and what type of rugby he can play," added Steyn.

"As a 21-year-old the type of leadership he takes on the field and his communication next to me makes it easier for me.

"Fourie on my inside makes it so much easier for me and I enjoy playing next to him."

As for Steyn's domestic game, the fly-half remained determined to play as much rugby as he could despite club side Stade Francais using him primarily as a rotation or back-up option in the Top 14.

"I want to play every Test and you always thinking are you playing enough rugby for the Bok coach to pick you, but it was a good thing for me to take a break," acknowledged Steyn.

"I want to play every game and you don't like it when you sit on the bench, but I think it was a good thing for me not to play all the games.

"I put in the hard yards in Super Rugby the previous year."

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