Springbok Steyn wants Irish flourish end - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Springbok Steyn wants Irish flourish end

26/11/2009 03:03:47 PM Comments (0)

Morne Steyn is ready to wrap up a dream year with a win against Ireland at Croke Park in Dublin on Saturday.

The South Africa outside-half made his international breakthrough in 2009 and set a number of records along the way as he helped his country to victory against the British and Irish Lions and a Tri-Nations title, while also achieving club success in the Super 14.

His match and series-winning 51-metre penalty in the dramatic second Test will not be forgotten by Irish fans - and in particular Ronan O'Gara, the Irish player who conceded the kick.

But for the Blue Bulls star, it will take something special to beat the 31-19 Tri-Nations victory over New Zealand on August 1, when he scored every Springbok point.

It was the most points scored by a player in a Tri-Nations match and the most points ever scored by an individual in a Test against the All Blacks.

"It's been an awesome year," said the 25-year-old Steyn. "After the great season that we've had we just want to end it on a high note."

Saturday's match pits world champions South Africa against Six Nations kings Ireland and Steyn added: "I think losing on Saturday (would) make us forget about the great year and we'd only think about the loss against Ireland. We have to go out on a high."

Steyn is feeling comfortable with life as a member of the Springboks these days and says playing alongside his Blue Bulls team-mate Fourie du Preez in the crucial 9-10 axis has helped him settle in quickly.

"Being selected for the Springbok squad was a great achievement in my career and getting into a side with so many senior players in the great team that we've got it's been a great year for me," the 11-times capped Steyn reflected.

"Fourie is one of the best scrum-halves in the world and to have played with him with the Bulls and the 'Boks has made it so much easier for me.

"I know he's going to make the right decision 90 percent of the time and that makes life easier."

Du Preez's experience will be vital on Saturday if, as expected, bad weather is a factor.

Ireland has been affected badly by flooding and strong winds over the past week, something Steyn experienced just seconds after landing in Dublin.

Steyn will be up against the impressive kicking game of Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton a debutant in Ireland's 41-6 thrashing of Fiji last Saturday - and a player both he and Du Preez admitted to knowing little about.

Ireland coach Declan Kidney has made a big call in dropping O'Gara, a player he worked with when he was a teacher and the fly-half a schoolboy.

"I've seen a lot of O'Gara, but not much of Sexton," said Steyn. "We know that when you're going there's someone ready to take your place.

"It's going to be a battle in the tactical kicking, we don't like the weather with the wind and everything but we're looking forward to a battle.

"They have great forwards and a great backline so we don't know what they're going to do. The whole team know it's going to be a tough game."

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