An ode to the old lion-tamer Morne Steyn

At 37 years old, Morne Steyn kicked a winning penalty to secure South Africa’s back-to-back victory over the British Irish Lions. Steyn broke Lions hearts 12 years ago and 12 years later, a matured, older veteran smashed the long-range shot straight through the uprights, writing himself and the Springboks into history once again. He certainly […]

An ode to the old lion-tamer Morne Steyn

At 37 years old, Morne Steyn kicked a winning penalty to secure South Africa’s back-to-back victory over the British Irish Lions.

Steyn broke Lions hearts 12 years ago and 12 years later, a matured, older veteran smashed the long-range shot straight through the uprights, writing himself and the Springboks into history once again.

He certainly has cemented his status as a figurehead of South African rugby – while he has many critics, the sheer level of respect he gets from teammates like Bryan Habana and Jean De Villiers speaks volumes.

What really made him iconic was his last-minute, heart-breaking kicks. He’d be notching over at least 85 per cent for both club and country, and his goal-kicking was a core factor in the Boks’ success in his heyday, as well as for the Bulls in 2020-21.

He was a team man, always doing what was best for the team – he cared about the bigger picture.

With Jacques Nienaber announcing that he initially had planned for the veteran to stay on till 2023, he was certainly still in the mix. He would add the game management factor as a ‘bomb squad’ option, an alternative to the attacking creativity of Elton Jantjies.

Yet he has called time on his international career at 68 caps, which was also the number of points he scored in the 2011 World Cup, a competition at which he was the top scorer.

Morne was always a rugged defender who never shied from contact, courageously producing big hits.

While he was never regarded as a classy distributor, he had a solid passing hand to add to a strong kicking game and impeccable booting for the uprights.

I noted in my article last year that he had a distribution masterclass against the Sharks, which demonstrated how well-rounded he was.

Here he executes a good pass to open up Cornal Hendricks, who gave a lovely wide, flat pass to free up the winger to score.

At the Bulls, Steyn had become an initial distributor, while Hendricks was the creative playmaker to exploit space and make those killer passes.

This really demonstrates how much Steyn developed as a player, to now creating opportunities with his passing instead of merely hoisting clever up-and-unders.

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He has become better with age and the Springboks will miss him. He has always been the man to tame the Lions, which was what made him an icon for South Africa. His winning kicks brought jubilation to supporters as their team prevailed over the Lions.

As he retires, it is good to reminisce about what Morne Steyn has done for Springbok rugby – being a dependable flyhalf and truly serving the role of a team man.

Source : The Roar More   

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Wallabies DIY player ratings from the Japan Test: The results

The Wallabies may have come out on top, but it was hardly an inspiring performance. That’s the verdict from Roar readers following Saturday’s 32-23 win over the Brave Blossoms. As is customary around here, it was up to the audience to provide the player ratings post-match and, having come off a four-match winning streak to […]

Wallabies DIY player ratings from the Japan Test: The results

The Wallabies may have come out on top, but it was hardly an inspiring performance.

That’s the verdict from Roar readers following Saturday’s 32-23 win over the Brave Blossoms.

As is customary around here, it was up to the audience to provide the player ratings post-match and, having come off a four-match winning streak to conclude the Rugby Championship – the bar has been raised.

Flashy, champagne rugby looked nice at times, but it’s fair to say the Wallabies underperformed and will want to play a lot better when their European tour kicks off shortly.

Only one player emerged with an average score of above seven out of ten – that was number eight Rob Valetini with 7.16.

There was a decent gap between him and the second-place finisher in Jordan Petaia – who came off the bench very early to replace an injured Reece Hodge and score 6.49.

Rounding out the podium was the ever-reliable skipper, Michael Hooper, with 6.44.

Wallabies player ratings from the Japan Test

1. James Slipper
Average score: 6.18
Most common rating: 6 (37%)

2. Folau Fainga’a
Average score: 5.96
Most common rating: 6 (36.5%)

3. Taniela Tupou
Average score: 6.41
Most common rating: 7 (34.3%)

4. Izack Rodda
Average score: 6.01
Most common rating: 6 (33.8%)

5. Matt Philip
Average score: 5.53
Most common rating: 5 and 6 (34.8% each)

6. Rob Leota
Average score: 6.12
Most common rating: 6 (41.4%)

7. Michael Hooper (c)
Average score: 6.44
Most common rating: 6 (35.1%)

8. Rob Valetini
Average score: 7.16
Most common rating: 8 (39.3%)

9. Nic White
Average score: 6.00
Most common rating: 6 (32.9%)

10. Quade Cooper
Average score: 6.14
Most common rating: 7 (35.1%)

11. Andrew Kellaway
Average score: 6.33
Most common rating: 6 (42.2%)

12. Hunter Paisami
Average score: 4.54
Most common rating: 5 (31.8%)

13. Len Ikitau
Average score: 5.81
Most common rating: 6 (39.5%)

14. Tom Wright
Average score: 5.74
Most common rating: 6 (35.4%)

15. Reece Hodge
Average score: 4.45
Most common rating: 5 (47.5%)

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16. Connal McInerney
Average score: 5.73
Most common rating: 6 (39.4%)

17. Angus Bell
Average score: 5.26
Most common rating: 5 (35.1%)

18. Allan Alaalatoa
Average score: 5.10
Most common rating: 5 (39.9%)

19. Darcy Swain
Average score: 5.34
Most common rating: 5 (38.4%)

20. Pete Samu
Average score: 6.02
Most common rating: 6 (40.8%)

21. Tate McDermott
Average score: 5.62
Most common rating: 6 (36.1%)

22. James O’Connor
Average score: 5.28
Most common rating: 5 (38.5%)

23. Jordan Petaia
Average score: 6.49
Most common rating: 7 (37%)

Source : The Roar More   

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