Steyn leaves All Blacks in a real mess

South Africa 31 New Zealand 19

Peter Bills
Monday 03 August 2009 00:00
Comments

Maybe Francis Bacon summed it up best, all the way back in the 16th century. "Knowledge is power" he wrote, a point South Africa's men demonstrated with clarity on Saturday.

The knowledge that they had the power to smash aside the All Blacks for the second time in seven days played a huge part in their destruction. For decades, this intrinsic self-belief, this knowledge, has been the preserve of the New Zealanders.

Now the boot is on the other foot. The South African line-out was again vastly superior, a factor aided no end by Andrew Hore's poor throwing. Their back-row smashed into the All Blacks, reducing them to heaps on the ground. Few bettered Juan Smith, playing his best game in the Springbok jersey this year.

Then there was the man who has lifted the South African game up a notch, Heinrich Brussow, whose presence as a genuine fetcher has been the surprise package of the Springboks' Tri-Nations campaign.

It was the Morne Steyn (right) show, the recalled fly-half scoring all 31 points with a record breaking eight penalty goals, one try and a conversion. Yet it was so much more than that. Steyn didn't beat Richie McCaw on the ground, his presence didn't terrify the New Zealand line-out thrower, he didn't smash down players all over the field.

But what he did he achieved with aplomb, ensuring the pressure on the All Blacks which forced so many mistakes was turned immediately into points.

New Zealand did actually take an early 10-3 lead, through a superb team try finished by lock Isaac Ross after a 65-metre move. But their constant mistakes undermined whatever chance they may have had. By half time, they trailed 22-13, Steyn scoring the only Springbok try from a five-metre scrum. Thereafter, the Springboks were always in control, even when the All Blacks closed to 25-19.

If New Zealanders believe a single lifeboat named "The Daniel W Carter" can rescue their floundering All Blacks ship, then they need to think again. I counted 47 mistakes by the All Blacks, 28 in the first half. You can't win any game with such indiscipline.

The All Blacks' back three offered a bizarre mix of audacious counter-attacking running and alarming, crazy errors all at the same time.

So while it was true that the aggression, hunger and desire came from South Africa, all they had to do to win was wait for the next New Zealand transgression and whistle up Steyn.

Richie McCaw admitted: "It was tough. The pressure got on top of us and we made vital mistakes. You can't afford to do that."

His South African counterpart John Smit added:"We went back to a lot of our basics and that worked. It gave us a lot of help. And Morne Steyn was wonderful, it was like having Percy Montgomery on the field."

Scorers: South Africa: Try: M Steyn Conversion: M Steyn. Penalty Goals: M Steyn (8) New Zealand: Try: Ross Conversion: Donald Pen. Goals: Donald (3) McAlister.

South Africa: F Steyn; JP Pietersen, J Fourie (W Olivier, 78), J De Villiers (A Jacobs, 71), B Habana; M Steyn, F Du Preez (R Januarie, 78); T Mtawarira, B Du Plessis (C Ralepelle, 79), J Smit (capt) (J Du Plessis, 77), B Botha (A Bekke, 77), V Matfield, H Brussow, J Smith (D Rossouw, 66), P Spies.

New Zealand: M Muliaina; J Rokocoko, C Smith, M Nonu, S Sivivatu; S Donald (L McAlister, 61), J Cowan (P Weepu, 44); A Woodcock, A Hore (K Mealamu, 44–77), O Franks (J Afoa, 66), B Thorn, I Ross, J Kaino (K Read 60), R McCaw (capt), R So'oialo.

Referee: N Owens (Wales).

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in