Super Rugby Semi-Final - Bulls v Brumbies
Brumbies to risk Morne Steyn's boot
July 25, 2013
Morne Steyn is kicking at 85.6% this season © Getty Images
The Brumbies will risk Morne Steyn's deadly-accurate place-kicking in a bold attempt to bully the Bulls at the breakdown, coach Jake White saying his unchanged side won't back down from the aggressive ruck tactics that have seen them progress to the semi-final at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
The Brumbies have conceded more penalties than any other Super Rugby side this year, but White said "in the stats you can see we've got the most pilfers, the most turnovers and best ability to slow down the opposition ball so with that comes the chance of giving a penalty away".
"One goes in hand with the other and I'm prepared to take the risk of conceding a penalty or two, knowing full well that you get a lot of return on what we do at the breakdown," White said.
White knows the 1214-metre altitude at Loftus Versfeld means Steyn can slot penalty goals from 55 metres, and the fly-half punished the Brumbies when they last visited Pretoria, in 2012, kicking seven penalty goals, a conversion and a drop goal to lead his side to a 36-34 victory despite being outscored five tries to two.
"Morne is one of the best kickers in world rugby," White said of Steyn, who has landed more penalty goals this season than any other player in Super Rugby history - 51 at an accuracy rate of 85.6%.
"Especially at Loftus ; he obviously kicks a lot better at his home ground. There's nothing you can do about the ball going 10 metres further [in Pretoria]. We've just got to make sure we don't concede penalties, but at the same time be as aggressive as we can at the breakdown."
Greg Growden and Russell Barwick preview the Super Rugby semi-finals