‘Tri-Nations the ultimate goal’

Frans Steyn says claiming the Tri-Nations title will mean more than a series triumph over the All Blacks.

The Boks beat the Blacks on successive Saturdays in South Africa, the first side since readmission to achieve the feat. Steyn, only 22 but already a World Cup-winner, recognised the achievement but stressed there is an ultimate goal.

‘For every player in this team it means so much to beat New Zealand,’ Steyn told keo.co.za. ‘It doesn’t happen often where we beat them twice in two weeks in the Tri-Nations, especially with such a convincing scoreline [31-19].

‘It’s a great achievement, but winning the title will be much bigger. The whole team is striving for that.’

Home victories remain vital, and Steyn emphasised how the team won’t want to rely on permutations or the help of other sides to win the Tri-Nations for the first time in five years.

‘It’s there for us to win or lose. We can only lose it ourselves now. We still didn’t play that well. We just played off their mistakes and the points came, and came, and came. If we produce a performance like Australia last year [53-8 at Ellis Park], then we can truly say we’re on form.

‘There is still a long way to go for this team and everyone knows what they want.’

The Boks’ composure was clearly evident and Steyn said there was never any panic when the Blacks went ahead 10-3 in the opening half.

‘We were upset  with that [Isaac Ross] try, but we weren’t stressed. It just made us work harder. They made the errors and Morne [Steyn] had his kicking boots on,’ said the Bok fullback.

Steyn has matured in his role as the last line of defence, but said he is far from happy with his personal game.

‘I wouldn’t say I’ve grown,’ said Steyn. ‘I haven’t done much and am quite far away from the action. But I’m enjoying my role and am just trying to do my best.’

Steyn didn’t rule out a return to centre or flyhalf during his move to Racing Metro after the Currie Cup.

‘I’ll probably be selected in another position in France,’ he said. ‘I don’t know what the exact plans are, but I’ll be doing my best for the club.’

By Grant Ball, at King’s Park