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Meyer backs under-fire Steyn

Date

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."

AFP

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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