Morne Steyn kicked the Springboks to victory in the third Test against the British and Irish Lions. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Morne Steyn kicked the Springboks to victory in the third Test against the British and Irish Lions. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

5 of Morné Steyn’s most memorable Springbok Tests

By Ashfak Mohamed Time of article published Oct 21, 2021

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Cape Town – Morné Steyn hung up his Springbok boots this week following an excellent career, in which he scored 742 points in 68 Tests.

We took a look at five of his most memorable displays for his country…

ALSO READ: Morne’ Steyn retires from international rugby - report

27 June 2009: Springboks 28-25 British and Irish Lions

Having made his Test debut a week before as a substitute in the first Test, Steyn was again on the bench for the second match at his beloved home ground, Loftus Versfeld.

But after Ruan Pienaar missed a number of goal-kicks, Steyn was belatedly introduced around the hour mark with the score at 19-8 to the Lions.

The Boks were dead and buried, but Bryan Habana started the comeback with a try that was converted by Steyn, who slotted a penalty soon after that as well to suddenly make the score 19-18 with 13 minutes to go.

Lions flyhalf Stephen Jones replied with a three-pointer of his own, though, and at 22-18, the visitors appeared to have done enough to level the series at 1-1.

But enter Jaque Fourie, who barged his way over in the right-hand corner, which Steyn duly converted to put the Boks 25-22 in front with five minutes to go.

The Lions weren’t done yet, and when Jones slotted another penalty, it looked like Ellis Park was going to host the series decider.

But Ronan O’Gara did the unthinkable, taking out Fourie du Preez in the air… Steyn stepped up and banged over the 55-metre-plus kick to break the Lions’ hearts!

ALSO READ: Morne Steyn has been a great servant to SA rugby, says Boks coach Jacques Nienaber

1 August 2009: Springboks 31-19 All Blacks

Having proved his mettle against the Lions, Steyn eventually convinced coach Peter de Villiers that he should wear the No 10 jersey against the All Blacks... and he repaid the faith in more ways than one - 31 ways, in fact.

The Bulls pivot scored all 31 points in the match for a convincing 31-19 victory that set the team on the path to the Tri-Nations title.

Steyn kicked five penalties in the first half, and slotted three more in the second.

He also got a try just before halftime, stepping inside the backline defence off a scrum, and knocked over the conversion as well.

Steyn was unable to produce a drop goal, but that hardly mattered in what was arguably his best ever Bok performance.

13 November 2010: Springboks 29-25 Wales

Wales have a superb record against the South Africans on home soil in recent seasons, but in 2010, Steyn was the difference between the two teams.

In a see-saw encounter, the Bok No 10 kept his side in touch with five penalties and two conversions.

When Stephen Jones put Wales 20-9 ahead early in the second half, it looked like the game was over.

But Steyn started the comeback with a 46th penalty, and then converted tries by Willem Alberts and Victor Matfield to put the Boks 26-20 ahead.

George North pulled a five-pointer back for the Welsh, but Steyn secured victory with another penalty.

20 August 2011: Springboks 18-5 All Blacks

The Boks had lost three Tests in a row before this one – twice against Australia and once against New Zealand.

So, coach Peter de Villiers was feeling the heat heading into the World Cup, and the last thing he needed was to take on the All Blacks one more time before the showpiece tournament.

But his team responded in emphatic fashion, with the forwards winning the physical battle, and the rest was left to Steyn.

The Bok flyhalf delivered a superb performance, kicking four penalties and a drop goal in the first half, and one more penalty in the second, with Richard Kahui scoring a try for the visitors.

7 August 2021: Springboks 19-17 British and Irish Lions

After a five-year absence from the Bok squad, Steyn never thought that he would ever wear the green-and-gold jersey again.

But after inspirational displays for the Bulls, coupled with uncertainty around Handre Pollard’s form and fitness, Steyn was picked for the Lions series decider.

With Pollard far from his best in the match, Steyn came on at flyhalf with just 15 minutes to go in the second half and slotted a penalty almost immediately to make it 16-13 to the Boks.

Finn Russell booted a penalty over himself to draw the Lions level, but right before the hooter, the Boks won a penalty about 35 metres out, and Steyn showed tremendous composure to clinch a Lions series victory for the second time in 12 years.


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