Poor goal-kicking cost Boks in New Zealand, says Meyer

2012-09-18 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said that while he would not blame individuals for the team’s 21-11 loss to the All Blacks in their Rugby Championship match in New Zealand over the weekend, poor goal-kicking cost them the match.

The Bok mentor was nevertheless positive about the team’s prospects for the future after they matched the world champions in all facets of play.

“We wanted to instil a belief in the team after the World Cup that they can beat any side in the world and I think we have achieved that goal,” Meyer said on the team’s return to South Africa last night.

Meyer has come under severe public pressure regarding the team’s game plan and the coach’s loyalty to flyhalf Morné Steyn, who has been struggling with his form this year.

He, however, refused to lay the blame at the door of Steyn saying the team had to take responsibility for their performances.

“I will never blame an individual,” he said.“If the team loses, it is always my fault, but I think we played the right game plan and put the All Blacks under pressure.

“Even they were surprised at how we kept them under pressure.”

He admitted that there was a drop in Steyn’s form but he was confident that the Bulls pivot would soon be back to his best.

“In general, Morné did not play badly but according to his standards his kicking at goal wasn’t good,” he said.

“Morné is mentally tough, he’s been there a few times … Bryan was there and with the right guidance he’s playing great rugby.

“I’ve always — without boosting myself — been great with getting the best out of players.

“I think this mental break will do him good, but we will look at the whole situation and decide who are the guys that will play in the next Test.”

Meyer praised the performance of his inexperienced forward pack, who threw down the gauntlet against their more experienced All Black counterparts.

“We scrummed well, I am very happy with the front row and the loose forwards,” said Meyer.

“The combination of those guys were great as it was the first time they’ve played together and they were superb against probably the best loose trio in the world.”

He said it was encouraging that he could blood new talent, improving his depth, especially among the forwards.

“So I know exactly where we are going,” he said.

“I really have a special feeling for this team going forward.”

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