Munster captain and Man of the Match, CJ Stander, felt his side had restored pride as they produced a superb display to claim a bonus-point 26 / 13 victory over Stade Francais in Pool 4 of the European Rugby Champions Cup.
The French side were chasing a quarterfinal berth but had no response to a tremendous Munster effort as Mike Sherry, Keith Earls, Simon Zebo and Stander himself scored tries, with flyhalf Ian Keatley kicking 6 points.
The Irish side, 2-time European champions, had no chance of advancing from the pool after being humbled by a 14-man Stade side in Paris just a week previously.
Stander admits there has been a lot of hurt within the Munster camp and he hopes an impressive win was a step back in the right direction for a team who have traditionally been one of the competition’s major players.
“We said we were playing for nothing but pride and that shows the character we have here in Munster,” said Stander. “There was a lot of hurt last week but a lot of the boys stepped up and we are very proud.”
“The fans stood behind us and made an unbelievable noise. We knew it was all about our actions and getting pride back into the place and we showed a lot of characters.”
Strange as it may seem considering the hype beforehand over “emotional Springbok swansongs” in the bronze playoff match at Rugby World Cup 2015, only 1 member of the squad at the tournament, captain Jean de Villiers, has officially confirmed his Test retirement.
Several younger Springboks spoke beforehand of their desire to beat Argentina – a task duly achieved – as a fitting send-off for senior players bidding farewell to the green-and-gold cause.
Almost 2 weeks on from the end of the Rugby World Cup, however, it is still only the luckless Jean de Villiers, injured again in just the 2nd Rugby World Cup match against Samoa, who has definitely bowed out after 109 appearances since 2002.
Perhaps influenced by the state of flux surrounding embattled coach Heyneke Meyer, the likes of Victor Matfield, Fourie du Preez, Schalk Burger and Bryan Habana intriguingly haven’t yet pulled the plug publicly on their illustrious Springbok careers.
The majority of “older” Springboks who took part in their hot-and-cold Rugby World Cup 2015 campaign are now exclusively foreign-based and there have been some pleas back home for only locally-stationed players to be chosen for South Africa henceforth – a tricky matter considering the ever-shrinking strength of the Rand against other currencies, which hardly helps keeps the best players rooted here.
Springbok flyhalf Morné Steyn has extended his contract with French Top 14 club Stade Francais by a further 2 years.
The 31-year-old joined the Paris-based club from the Vodacom Bulls in 2013 and now looks set to finish his career in France.
Steyn was part of the Springbok squad at the recent Rugby World Cup, but received limited game time, with Handré Pollard and Pat Lambie ahead of him in the flyhalf pecking order.
Steyn, who made his Springbok debut in 2009, has 60 Test caps to his name.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer decided to keep continuity for South Africa’s final Rugby World Cup Pool B match.
The Springboks face the United States at London’s Olympic Stadium on Wednesday.
The starting line-up shows only 2 changes from the team that recorded a 34 / 16 victory over Scotland in Newcastle last Saturday.
As a result Frans Malherbe will start his 1st match of the season for South Africa, while Rudy Paige could make his Test debut off the bench against the United States.
Malherbe comes in at tighthead prop for Jannie du Plessis, in the only change to the pack.
The backline shows only 1 personnel change as well – at wing, where Lwazi Mvovo takes over from JP Pietersen, with Bryan Habana moving over to the right wing.
Pietersen was not considered this week due to injury, while a decision was taken to give Du Plessis and Victor Matfield time to get over some niggles due to the short turn-around after the Scotland match.
Joining Paige on the bench is Morné Steyn, who both could get their 1st taste of Rugby World Cup action this year.
Schalk Brits and Coenie Oosthuizen are also back amongst the replacements this week.
Flyhalf Morné Steyn has been ruled out of the Springboks’ trip to Argentina next week, as his wife is due to give birth.
The Springboks will play the Pumas in a non-championship Test at the Estadio Jose Amalfitani in Buenos Aires on Saturday 15 August at 21:40 SA time.
The Test will also be the Springboks’ final run-out ahead of the Rugby World Cup starting on 18 September.
The fact that Steyn won’t be available means that he will not have played any Test rugby in 2015, giving coach Heyneke Meyer something of a headache.
The Springbok selectors on Sunday finalised the squad of 31 players that will travel to Brisbane for the opening match of The Rugby Championship, next Saturday at the Suncorp Stadium against the Wallabies.
The touring squad consists of 22 players who did duty against the World XV at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.
The only member of the match-day squad to stay behind in South Africa is Jean de Villiers, who has been released to DHL Western Province to get game time in their ABSA Currie Cup warm-up matches in the next fortnight.
The players who did not feature against the World XV, but will travel to Brisbane, are Lionel Mapoe, Lwazi Mvovo, Rudy Paige, Jan Serfontein, Morné Steyn, Schalk Brits, Lood de Jager, Frans Malherbe and Heinke van der Merwe.
Stade Français ensured Clermont’s dire record continued as the Paris club handed the side from central France their 11th defeat in 12 French finals.
South African flyhalf Morné Steyn kicked Stade Français into a 6 / 0 lead, while Morgan Parra missed 2 chances to reduce the lead for Clermont.
Steyn added a 3rd penalty before Camille Lopez made it 9 / 3 at the break.
Brock James cut the gap to 3 but missed a chance to level the scores and Steyn added a 4th penalty late on.
It was announced yesterday that Willie le Roux has signed for the Cell C Sharks for the 2016 season of Super Rugby, after agreeing to a deal that the Cheetahs were reportedly unable to match. Le Roux will play a short stint in Japan after the World Cup but will join the Sharks after.
Springbok Morné Steyn’s long-range kicking capability took centre stage as Stade Francais overcame the early Red Carding of captain Sergio Parisse to beat Parisian rivals Racing-Metro 28 / 19 in Top 14 action on Sunday.
The win leaves Stade in 4th in the table behind leaders Toulon, Clermont and Toulouse, with Oyonnax in 5th above Racing in 6th.
With just 2 games of the regular season to play, the pressure will be on in the fight to nail down a spot in the top 6 for the end-of-season play-offs.
South African international flyhalf Morné Steyn is free to play for his French club, Stade Francais, in their European Challenge Cup game.
Steyn was handed a 1-match ban on Wednesday, by the National Rugby League – the body controlling the French leagues.
The 30-year-old Steyn, who had asked for his disciplinary hearing to be moved forward from next week to Wednesday, had already missed the Top 14 clash with Castres this past weekend – an encounter that Stade won 49-13 at home.
Veteran Springbok Morné Steyn claims he was ‘eye-gouged’, which is why he kicked out at Fijian wing Mosese Ratuvou.
The 30-year-old flyhalf was red-carded for the kick in the first half of the Stade Français’ 9-12 loss to Lyon in a French Top 14 match last Friday.
Steyn, the top-scorer at the 2011 World Cup and a holder of numerous international records, had confidently kicked Stade into a 6-0 lead – courtesy of a 40-metre penalty and a quick-thinking drop-goal.
But after Ratuvou had cut the deficit with the game’s opening try, Steyn saw red in the 31st minute for kicking the Fijian wing as the two tussled on the ground.
South African flyhalf Morné Steyn endured a miserable first start of the season for Stade Francais on Friday when he was red-carded in the Top 14 leaders’ 9-12 defeat at Lyon.
Steyn, the 30-year-old top-scorer at the 2011 World Cup, had confidently kicked Stade into a 6-0 lead – courtesy of a 40-metre penalty and a quick-thinking drop-goal.
But after Mosese Ratuvou had cut the deficit with the game’s opening try, Steyn saw red in the 31st minute for kicking the Fijian wing as the two tussled on the ground.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is likely to surprise with a few unpopular decisions in his 2015 Rugby World Cup squad.
According to weekend newspaper reports, the inclusion of flyhalf Morné Steyn and fullback Zane Kirchner could be the biggest shocks in Meyer’s 31-man squad for next year’s showpiece event in England and Wales.
Kirchner has fallen out of favour in recent times after the emergence of Willie le Roux, while Steyn has fallen behind Pat Lambie and Handré Pollard in the flyhalf pecking order.
Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test between New Zealand and South Africa in Wellington could be a significant one in the career of Springbok flyhalf Handré Pollard.
The 20-year-old was on Wednesday included in the Bok starting team at the expense of the experienced Morné Steyn, who seemed to pay the price for his late kicking blunder against Australia in Perth last weekend.
South Africa have handed the controls to 20-year-old first five-eighth Handré Pollard as they look for an attacking spark to end their three-year drought against the All Blacks.
Pollard is the only change to the Springbok side that lost narrowly to Australia in Perth last week, but signals a major shift from coach Heyneke Meyer as he looks forward toward next year’s World Cup.
Significantly, Pollard, in what will be just his fourth test, pushes the more traditional South African veteran Morné Steyn out of the squad for what is South Africa’s biggest test of The Rugby Championship so far this year.
In the 60th minute of the Springboks’ 33-31 win against Argentina two weeks ago, replacement No 10 Morné Steyn ripped a beautiful flat pass, left to right, to take out two Pumas defenders and put Jean de Villiers in enough space to release Cornal Hendricks for a crucial try.
South Africa has gone back to what it knows against the Wallabies on Saturday – Steyn replaces youngster Handré Pollard and Victor Matfield returns to run the lineout – and it makes it more dangerous for the Wallabies. More predictable?
Possibly, but the Springboks have never done unpredictability well. Territory, set piece, hard kick chases, pressure. It is still a base game that is hard to defeat, especially if the Perth forecasters are right and there are showers and strong winds on Saturday.
There was nothing surprising about Springbok flyhalf Morné Steyn focusing on the scrum as he prepared to depart with the squad at the weekend for what will be a testing Australasian leg of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.
The scrumming was not the only area of concern for the Boks during the June internationals and in the two Championship matches against Argentina.
But it was an aspect that fell short both against Wales and the Pumas, and those who know the South African rugby psyche, will understand the ripple effect that the scrumming humiliation at the hands of Argentina in Salta would have sent through the team.
Jan Serfontein, Morné Steyn, Adriaan Strauss, Victor Matfield en Marcell Coetzee ín. Damian de Allende, Handré Pollard, Bismarck du Plessis en Lood de Jager uit.
Moenie verbaas wees indien Heyneke Meyer dié verrassende skuiwe maak in sy Springbokspan wat die Wallabies Saterdag in Perth in die Rugbykampioenskap pak nie.
It is understood that French-based players in the Springbok squad are unlikely to be available to play Scotland in next week’s Test in Port Elizabeth.
This means the likes of Morne Steyn, Gurthro Steenkamp, Bakkies Botha and Bryan Habana will all have to report back to their clubs.
It’s understood the clubs will invoke International Rugby Board (IRB) Regulation Nine, which governs the release of players for the June test window.
The regulation stipulates that releases are required for the second, third and fourth weekends of June, or for three matches.
South African coach Heyneke Meyer dished out a swipe at the ongoing criticism of Springbok flyhalf Morné Steyn.
The 55-Test veteran was a pivotal player in the Boks’ 38-16 (5 tries to 1) demolition of Wales in Durban at the weekend, but still haven’t convinced his detractors that he is the real deal.
Not only did he produce a 100 percent goal-kicking performance (5 conversions and a penalty), but the 37 times he handled the ball he kicked just 10 times – with 21 passes and 6 runs.
The Bok coach, Meyer, pointed out that the high attrition rate among flyhalves makes Steyn an even more valuable asset to the national team.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is not worried about the lack of game time flyhalf Morné Steyn recently got in France.
It was widely reported that Steyn had struggled for form at his French club, Stade Francais, which led to him spending the majority of the past season on their bench.
However, Meyer says Steyn did not fall out of favour with the Paris-based club’s coaches.
“The overseas clubs manage our players carefully and most of them have a rotation policy,” Meyer was quoted as saying.
Expect Morné Steyn to return to do duty in the Springbok No 10 jersey later this year.
It is felt that no South African flyhalf has done enough in Super Rugby this year to convince Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer to replace his favourite No 10 for the upcoming Incoming Tests and Rugby Championship shortly thereafter.
The South African rugby season has yet to commence, but Springbok flyhalf Morné Steyn’s form for French Top 14 side Stade Français could be creating pre-season worries for coach Heyneke Meyer as he plots his 2014 campaign.
International news is flowing like a river in flood today, seems I have been updating all day, today… but we like it that way, don’t we!
Reviews of the Fourie du Preez try, clearly shows that Jaque Fourie was ahead of Fourie du Preez when he kicked, did not retreat and the subsequent try, however well-worked, should not have been awarded. Another blemish on refereeing in 2013!
Looking ahead at this weekend’s clash against Scotland, it appears at this stage if Bakkies Botha might get a starting berth at lock and it looks likely that Patrick Lambie will get the nod at flyhalf.
Meanwhile Morné Steyn is responding well to treatment for his back spasm injury and it looks likely that he’ll also be ready for Sunday’s match.
A barrage of news and speculation greets us early on a Monday morning after a power game against Wales by the Springboks, this past weekend.
Firstly, the match analysis… reports indicating that Team Management and leaders in the side are lauding Fourie du Preez for his Man Of The Match performance against Wales.
Secondly, it appears that the injury to Bok flyhalf Morné Steyn, who had to leave the field after only 18 minutes in the game is not serious, with a troublesome back spasm picked up in the pre-game warm-up blamed and the player taken off to prevent real injury.
Thirdly, with 1 win under the belt and 2 games remaining, the next one being against Scotland on Sunday, speculation is rife whether Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer will rest some weary players and pick a hand full of other players, to test new combinations against what should be South Africa’s weakest opposition on tour.
We will discuss the above under seperate headings below:
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has named his team to face the Wallabies at Newlands on Saturday.
Fourie du Preez makes a welcome return to the starting lineup at scrumhalf and Adriaan Strauss gets the nod at hooker, with Bismarck du Plessis set on the bench.
Springbok prop Jannie du Plessis is set to play his 50th Test which will see him and brother Bismarck achieve a special milestone.
Jannie du Plessis and flyhalf Morné Steyn will play their 50th Tests for the Springboks when they tackle Australia’s Wallabies at Newlands on Saturday.
It was a balmy Brisbane which greeted the Springboks on Sunday evening (Australian time) after a trip of more than 20 hours that started in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon, included a stopover in Sydney and ended at their hotel in the Queensland capital.
The Springboks face Australia in the third round of The Castle Lager Rugby Championship at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday. Although the South Africans have not beaten the hosts at this venue in a Test, they will approach the game with a quiet confidence after two good wins over Argentina last month.
Stade Francais marked their return to the refurbished Jean Bouin stadium with a crushing 38-3 victory over Biarritz on Friday, as they provisionally moved to the summit of the fledgling Top 14 table.
There was much annoyance among Springbok fans when it was announced not long before South Africa’s test match against Argentina in the Rugby Championship that the release of Bryan Habana was required by his new club Toulon. This increased even more when it came to light that five of the players in the current Springbok Squad for the Rugby Championship were being ‘released’ to go back to their clubs in France while the rest of the players would return for a break to South Africa.
South African international flyhalf Morne Steyn revealed he would only start on the bench for Stade Francais in Friday’s Top 14 clash with Biarritz.
The 29-year-old – capped 47 times – only arrived from Argentina on Monday after helping the Springboks beat the Pumas 22-17 in a Four Nations Test.
The Springboks’ decision to continue with their overseas-based players had its first impact as the team arrived back in South Africa on Monday with no fewer than six members of the 26-man squad having to fly back to France to represent their clubs this weekend.
The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd is pleased to announce that Piet van Zyl has agreed terms and will join the Vodacom Bulls on a two year contract from November 1st, 2013.
The Pretoria-born 23 year old scrumhalf made his Springbok debut in 2013 following some very good performances for his Super Rugby franchise, the Toyota Cheetahs.
Die Vodacom Bulls se mees ervare speler nog, Mornè Steyn, is terug in die beginspan wat Saterdag op Loftus Versfeld teen die Sharks in ‘n Vodacom Super Rugby-wedstryd speel.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) today announced that 15 players, including exciting youngsters such as Eben Etzebeth, Marcell Coetzee, Juan de Jongh and Pat Lambie and world stars such as Jean de Villiers, Tendai Mtawarira and Bismarck du Plessis, have been awarded Springbok contracts for 2013.