GLASGOW Warriors fly out to South Africa tomorrow and will on Tuesday with the momentum of Friday night’s comprehensive 27-17 away win over Newcastle Falcons in the European Challenge Cup round of 16 at their backs. However, Kyle Steyn – who is looking forward to a return to his homeland – has insisted that the team recognise there is still plenty of room for improvement in their performance levels.  

Danny Wilson’s side will play two United Rugby Championship matches against the Stormers in Cape Town and the Bulls in Pretoria during the next fortnight, before returning to Europe for their Challenge Cup quarter-final clash against Lyon on the weekend of 6th to 8th May.  

“We’re stoked that we came down to Newcastle and got good win in our first knock-out game of the season, but we know that there is still a little bit to work on from that second half – that’s our big focus area,” said Steyn.  

Warriors scored three unanswered tries as they raced in into a 19-3 half-time lead at Kingston Park on Friday but couldn’t sustain their near complete dominance after the break with the try-count 2-1 in the home team’s favour. While the win was never really in doubt, Warriors know that they will have to play close to their best for closer to 80 minutes during the next two months as they hunt silverware in both Europe and the URC. 

Friday is not the first time this season that Warriors have fallen away in the second half of a match after getting themselves into a commanding position at the break. 

“We’re notorious at the moment for not seeing starts like that out, so we won’t get ahead of ourselves,” Steyn added. “We know we’ve got a lot of away games now, two in South Africa then Lyon, so those are a lot of tough challenges.  

“I don’t know if it’s maybe a bit of a mentality thing where because we’re ahead, we maybe shift to a more conservative style to get more territory and see it out. Whereas I think we need to be a bit more confident and be like, ‘right, let’s put this to bed’.” 

“The fact it wasn’t perfect [against Newcastle] is probably a good thing, because it means we know we have something to work on, but I certainly enjoyed it with the boys.” 

Steyn is initially from Johannesburg but qualifies to play for Scotland through his Glaswegian mother. He is looking forward to catching up with family and old friends during the next two weeks but stressed that his main focus in the expedition will be to help Warriors become only the second European team – after Edinburgh – to taste victory in South Africa since the URC launched at the start of this season.  

“I was at Stellenbosch uni and that’s where we’re staying, in the uni town, so I can’t wait to go back to my old stomping ground,” smiled the 29-year-old.  

“At the Stormers, there’s the No 9, Paul de Wet, who I was at uni with. The Bulls have a fly-half, Chris Smith, who is one of my best mates. I’ve played against most of the guys, even if Oli Kebble will probably know a lot more of them.  

“So, there’s been some good bits of chat going back and forth already, and I’ve lined up the odd game of golf.  

“My family will definitely be at the Bulls game because it is only half an hour from home, but we’ll have to wait and see about the Stormers game.

“I’m looking forward to it, but we’re there to play rugby. All those South African teams are on a bit of a roll because they’ve got so many home games now, so we’ll have our work cut out for us.”