Duane Vermeulen has revealed that experienced centre Frans Steyn initially felt that he had let the Springboks down after conceding a late penalty during a frenetic finish in their win over New Zealand.
In a dramatic finish to this past Saturday’s Test on the Gold Coast in Australia, the Springboks grabbed a 31-29 victory after Elton Jantjies converted a penalty following the final hooter.
However, it initially appeared that the Springboks were set to lose their fourth Test in a row as Steyn was penalised for illegally stripping the ball from the All Blacks’ Damian McKenzie in a tackle, with Jordie Barrett converting to give New Zealand a 29-28 lead.
Steyn was evidently ecstatic after referee Matthew Carley awarded the Boks a penalty inside the All Blacks’ 22, as the veteran ran forward to hug and high-five his teammates.
Speaking after the match, Vermeulen said Steyn’s emotions came from a feeling of relief as he felt he had let the team down by giving away that late penalty.
“I think Frans Steyn’s emotions were about his tackle on Damian McKenzie,” Vermeulen explained.
“I think he [Steyn] thought he had tackled McKenzie and he [McKenzie] lost the ball and when he fell to the ground the referee said he [Steyn] had conceded a penalty.
“Then Frans was half-negative and almost tearful there. He felt as though he had dropped the team.
“So, when we eventually got the penalty and we could win the game, he was ecstatic and very happy that the guys would pull it through.
“It was a great relief for him.”
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