de villiers resists the urge to tinker

'INCOMPLETE':
Springbok
Morne Steyn. 
Pic: James Oatway. 25.07.2009. © Sunday Times.
Morne Steyn is caught by Piri Weepu (please check). Springboks versus All Blacks. Tri-Nations Rugby. Bloemfontein. 

Pictures: JAMES OATWAY 2009/07/25

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25cm wide
'INCOMPLETE': Springbok Morne Steyn. Pic: James Oatway. 25.07.2009. © Sunday Times. Morne Steyn is caught by Piri Weepu (please check). Springboks versus All Blacks. Tri-Nations Rugby. Bloemfontein. Pictures: JAMES OATWAY 2009/07/25 ------ 25cm wide

SOUTH Africa retained the team that outplayed New Zealand for a Tri-Nations Test against Australia at Newlands on Saturday.

SOUTH Africa retained the team that outplayed New Zealand for a Tri-Nations Test against Australia at Newlands on Saturday.

There had been speculation that coach Peter de Villiers would recall fit-again flyhalf Ruan Pienaar in place of Tri-Nations record-breaker Morne Steyn.

The more expansive Pienaar is De Villiers's preferred choice, but injuries have opened the door for leading 2009 Super 14 points-scorer Steyn this season.

Stepping in last Saturday, Steyn scored all the points in a 31-19 victory, overtaking an Andrew Mehrtens record and enabling South Africa to defeat their fiercest rivals on consecutive weekends for the first time in 33 years.

Steyn converted his try and slotted eight penalties in a goal-kicking master class. The Northern Bulls pivot also knocked over a long-range penalty with the final kick of the game to give the Boks an unassailable 2-0 lead over the British and Irish Lions in Pretoria two months ago.

But for all Steyn's heroics, De Villiers favours a less structured approach than predecessor Jake White and views Pienaar's flair as a key component.

De Villiers calmed instant media worship of Steyn by saying the flyhalf can improve his game considerably, including getting the backline away quicker and creating more space.

"That he has a brilliant foot must not blind us to think that he can deliver total rugby. There are still a lot of things that he can improve," said the coach.

Australia, who surrendered a 10-point advantage when losing 22-16 to New Zealand in the opening match of the annual southern hemisphere championship in Auckland, name their team tomorrow.

South Africa (15-1):

Francois Steyn, JP Pietersen, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Fourie du Preez, Pierre Spies, Juan Smith, Heinrich Brussow, Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield, John Smit (capt), Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira. - Sapa-AFP

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