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Groom hails Myler and memorable tribute

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Nic Groom has hailed both half-back partner Stephen Myler and the Recreation Ground’s moving tribute to Joost van der Westhuizen.

Myler became just the second player to hit 2,500 first team points in black, green and gold in the Aviva Premiership last-gasp loss to Bath with the conversion that put the Saints within touching distance of what would have been a memorable comeback win.

The fly half was on target with all three conversions as well as a trio of penalties in the west country, but Groom says that his game is about more than just goal kicking.

“It’s an unbelievable milestone,” he said. “Stephen’s having a big impact not only with his goal kicking - he was landing the pressure kicks even with people calling out from the crowd - but we’re making great strides in attack.

“Even in the defeat we had some good moments in attack. There were plenty of phases where we were getting around them and things that we’ve been working on came through. We can be pleased with that.

“As a partnership we’re reading each other better and as half-backs we’re connecting more.”

Groom also said that he was touched by the way that the crowd responded with their standing ovation for van der Westhuizen, who lost his battle with motor neurone disease aged just 45.

“The minute’s applause was something special and it speaks volumes about the rugby family,” Groom added. “A lot of us only realised the impact that Joost had had once he’d passed away and our whole country came to a standstill. For me and for Francois Louw it was a big honour to be a part of that tribute.”

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