Steyn eyes next milestone
As Morné Steyn prepares for his 100th Super Rugby match in the Bulls jersey this weekend, the pivot is already targeting the next milestone.
Steyn will become only the sixth Bulls player to reach the magical ton as he follows in the footsteps of stalwarts such as Victor Matfield, Fourie du Preez, Danie Rossouw and Bakkies Botha.
The pivot said if everything worked out well for him, he hoped to become the first Super Rugby player to reach 150 matches.
Former Wallaby scrumhalf George Gregan currently holds the record for the most appearances in the competition, with 136 caps.
“You don’t want to go on forever, but maybe I can become the first player to play in a 150 matches,” Steyn said.
Steyn made his Super Rugby debut for the Bulls against the Waratahs in 2005.
He had a bittersweet start to Super Rugby as a replacement when he left the field with an ankle injury a few minutes after making his debut.
The 27-year-old had to wait until 2008 to finally move out of Derick Hougaard’s shadow.
“I waited for a long time behind Derick Hougaard to get my chance and those days 50 matches was the big milestone,” said Steyn.
“The right things happened at the right time and I have been blessed with few injuries to reach 100.”
Steyn said he had to wait patiently for his time to shine and added that he could have lost faith and left for a different team.
He, however, stuck it out and went on to become the top points scorer in the competition in both the 2009 and 2010 season’s.
Earlier this year, he became only the second player in Super Rugby history behind the Crusaders’ Dan Carter to pass a 1000 points in the competition.
Steyn said he had set his sights on surpassing Carter as the highest points scorer in Super Rugby history.
The incumbent Springbok flyhalf has amassed a total of 1134 points so far while Carter has scored 1289 in his career.
Coincidentally Steyn also played his 50th match against the Highlanders in 2009 at Palmerston North, where they lost 36-12.
Steyn said the three Super Rugby titles he had won with the Bulls was undoubtedly the highlights in his career with the Pretoria-based side.
“It is great to follow in the footsteps of legends like Fourie (Du Preez) and Victor (Matfield). I think it is a blessing,” he said.
“I think every Super Rugby title we have won in 2007, 2009 and 2010 is at the top of my list.”
The Bulls’ reliance on Steyn’s metronomical kicking boot was evident in the side’s losses against the Blues and the Stormers when he grappled with his kicking.
“I must say I struggled with my kicking in two matches, but so far it is going well,” Steyn said.
Steyn said he had to go back to the basics to figure out what he did wrong to find his rhythm and timing again.
Despite the hiccups in those two matches, Steyn is still the leading points scorer in this year’s competition on 161 points.