No panic from Boks, says Steyn

SOUTH AFRICA out-half Morne Steyn insists there will be no knee-jerk reaction to last week’s Tri Nations destruction at the hands of the All Blacks when the sides meet again in Wellington tomorrow (8.35am).

The world champions suffered a 32-12 defeat last Saturday at Eden Park but Steyn believes simply improving on the “small things” will be enough to see them reverse that setback at Westpac Stadium.

“I think the whole team is ready for this week. We must take another step from last week. It wasn’t the best week we wanted,” said Steyn.

“The whole Springbok set up and the way we play... there is nothing to be changed now that we lost.

“I think it is just the small things we have to do 100% and concentrate on the kicks to be more specific and on target and hopefully we will go better.

“We played the same sort of rugby and won the Tri Nations last year so we don’t want to change the whole gameplan if we lose one game.

“We are still going to stick to our kicking game but we want to give the guys outside a little bit more.”

The Boks have been boosted by news that lock Danie Rossouw has been given the green light to start against New Zealand after passing a fitness test yesterday.

Rossouw was unsure of being fit to play after hurting his calf in training on Tuesday, posing a selection problem for coach Peter de Villiers in the absence of the banned Bakkies Botha.

But the 32-year-old Rossouw was yesterday given the all-clear at a fitness test and will win his 50th cap alongside Victor Matfield in the second row.

Meanwhile, Rene Ranger failed to hide his surprise after being named in the New Zealand team.

Injury to Joe Rokocoko has provided the chance for Ranger, a backline breaker who was started at centre by Blues coach Pat Lam during the Super 14.

He was given the nod against the Springboks ahead of Zac Guildford and Hosea Gear.

“I never thought I’d be an All Black this year,” he admitted.

“I’m still buzzing. It’s a bit of a shock to get your first start against South Africa, but it’s a challenge, I’m excited, happy, and can’t wait to get out there.”

Ranger came on for 20 minutes in the second Test against Wales but he concedes there is more pressure as a member of the starting XV.

“In the Wales Test the boys were already winning and they were going quite well and it was a matter of fitting in when you get on the field so I will be a lot more nervous starting,” he said.

“I see them putting a bit of pressure on me, being the new guy.”

Ranger was one of two changes to the side which won 32-12 in game one at Eden Park with Piri Weepu coming in to make his first Test start since 2008 at the expense of Jimmy Cowan, who drops to the bench.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry said: “We have stuck with the majority of players who played so well in last week’s win at Eden Park and they are ready for what will be another major contest. The players know that they will face a different, more physical Springboks side.”

Richard Kahui will see a specialist on Monday for a further assessment on the extent of his shoulder injury.

NEW ZEALAND: M Muliaina; C Jane, C Smith, M Nonu, R Ranger; D Carter, P Weepu; T Woodcock, K Mealamu, O Franks; B Thorn, T Donnelly; J Kaino, R McCaw (capt), K Read.

Replacements: C Flynn, B Franks, S Whitelock, L Messam, J Cowan, A Cruden, I Dagg.

SOUTH AFRICA: Z Kirchner; J de Villiers, J Fourie, W Olivier, B Habana; M Steyn, R Januarie; G Steenkamp, J Smit (capt), CJ van der Linde; D Rossouw, V Matfield; S Burger, F Louw, P Spies.

Replacements: C Ralepelle, BJ Botha, A Bekker, R Kankowski, R Pienaar, B James, G Aplon.


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