SA coach hails ‘fairytale’ Steyn in win over Lions

Rugby

South Africa coach Jacques Nienaber hailed nerves of metal from flyhalf Morne Steyn as his “fairy-tale” return to the Springbok group led to the penalty that received the collection in opposition to the British & Irish Lions, a repeat of his feat from 12 years earlier than.

The 37-year-old Steyn got here off the bench to kick the successful factors two minutes from the top of Saturday’s bruising 19-16 victory over the Lions that noticed the world champions to a 2-1 collection victory.

It was his first check in 5 years and his return to the squad shocked many, however he was rewarded for good home type and his distinctive calm underneath strain.

“I will be sincere, I used to be sitting with my head between my legs, I did not see the penalty,” Nienaber informed reporters. “I am pleased for him when it comes to having the chance to play once more. It is a fairy-tale 12 years on.”

Steyn had changed Handre Pollard, who had an off-day with the boot, and Nienaber admits his choice for the match-day 23 was contact and go together with Elton Jantjies having been second-choice for the previous few years.

“Morne’s choice was an hour-long dialogue from the coaches between the 2 gamers (Steyn and Jantjies). However we felt his expertise on this specific atmosphere was the important thing.

“However hats off to Elton, now we have bought three unbelievable flyhalves and he couldn’t have been a greater in the course of the week when it comes to making ready us for (the attacking risk of Lions flyhalf) Finn Russell.”

Nienaber was appointed in January 2020 after the Boks had received the World Cup just a few months earlier than and had anticipated 13 exams within the build-up to the Lions collection.

That was ultimately lower all the way down to only one, in opposition to Georgia, as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

The squad additionally needed to cope with a COVID-19 outbreak that left main gamers unable to coach, and Nienaber himself confined to his lodge room, giving them only a few coaching classes earlier than the primary check.

“Even the blokes who weren’t optimistic needed to sit of their lodge rooms for seven days (to isolate),” Nienaber says. “Rassie (Erasmus) took over to assist the blokes who weren’t optimistic.

“However we imagine there isn’t any time for excuses, you must transfer on and make one other plan and that’s what we did.”

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