As if the Blue Bulls’ bulk and Bok experience is not enough to worry about, Western Province will also have to deal with the Steyn factor.
J.J. Harmse – Sport24
It’s probably not coincidence that the banking group who launched a new kicking series, King of Kicking, this week, is using Morné Steyn in the advertising material.
And Western Province dare not make any mistakes within Steyn’s 50-metre striking range during Saturday’s Currie Cup semi-final at Newlands.
Any incorrect binding at the scrums, a hand in a ruck or unwillingness by a defender to roll away, will give the country’s top marksman a chance to aim at posts. With a predictable result.
Steyn’s strike rate in the Currie Cup is even better than in the Super14 and for the Springboks, as confirmed by his kicking coach Vlok Cilliers.
“In the Super14 he succeeded with 64 out of 86 kicks, which gave him a success ratio of 74 percent. In a Bok jersey his strike rate is almost 90 percent, and in the Currie Cup he has now succeeded with 20 out of 23 kicks,” said Cilliers.
And if one listens to the experienced players in the Bulls team, there is no reason for this not to continue.
“We are definitely going there with the knowledge that we have the team and game plan to be successful in semi-finals and finals,” Bulls captain Victor Matfield said this week.
“These games are about using opportunities and limiting errors under pressure.”
Steyn has virtually been walking on water since May. Not only did his four drop goals in the Super14 semi-final effectively sink the Crusaders, but he also clinched the series against the British and Irish Lions with his boot. And just to show that it was not luck, Steyn scored 31 points against the All Blacks in a Tri-Nations test.
He scored 191 points in the Super14, 114 in the Bok jersey and has scored 61 iin the Currie Cup this year for a total of 366 in the season.
The 25-year-old Steyn’s handling has also been good this year, leading to numerous tries for the Bulls and the Boks.
The Bulls are likely to use their usual tactical kicking to pile the pressure on small players such as Gio Aplon and Joe Pietersen in the WP back three.