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Meyer backs under-fire Steyn


David Legge

Morne Steyn of South African had an off-night with the boot in Dunedin.

Morne Steyn of South African had an off-night with the boot in Dunedin. Photo: Getty Images

JOHANNESBURG: Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is not writing off fly-half Morne Steyn despite his dismal performance in a weekend loss to the All Blacks.

Once-deadly goal kicker Steyn missed four of five shots at the posts in Dunedin last Saturday as South Africa slumped 21-11 to New Zealand in a fourth-round Rugby Championship clash.

It was his worst return in seven Tests this season, during which he clicked only in a comfortable home victory over newcomers Argentina in the opening round of the revamped southern hemisphere championship.

Meyer admitted Monday when the team arrived at OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg that seven missed kicks at goal by Morne Steyn (1/5), replacement fly-half Johan Goosen (1/2) and inside centre Francois Steyn (0/2) cost the Springboks victory.

"I do not want to knock individuals but the missed kicks were crucial," the coach admitted. "Morne is mentally tough, though, and look at what happened to Bryan Habana.

"Bryan is now playing phenomenal rugby again," Meyer said of the wing who has scored three tries in the Championship after recovering spectacularly from a poor previous season that led many to predict his Test career was over.

"The mental break will do Morne good and we will look at the situation after the Currie Cup matches this weekend and decide who will play against Australia in Pretoria."

Morne Steyn is under pressure from second-choice Goosen, a 20-year-old who played Super Rugby for the first time this year, and Golden Lions fly-half Elton Jantjies, another inventive young star with an excellent place kicking record.

South Africa host the Wallabies at Loftus Versfeld on September 29 and face world champions New Zealand at the 93,000-seat Soccer City stadium in Soweto one week later.

The All Blacks will clinch the title if they win in Argentina next weekend, leaving Australia and South Africa to fight for second place in the former Tri-Nations championship.

Meyer heaped praise on the pack that held its own in Dunedin only to see hard won possession repeatedly squandered by poor field kicking, especially from Morne Steyn and scrum-half Ruan Pienaar.

"We scrummed well and I was very happy with our front row. The loose forward combination we used was superb against the best back row in the world and we have four great locks.

"I have a special feeling about this team -- we are on the right track and the results will come. There were a lot of positives from Dunedin and we did enough to win that game."


HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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