'We all know how much playing for Scotland means to him'
The 28-year-old, who represented the British and Irish Lions last summer, was involved in four of the Scots’ tries as they defeated Italy 33-22 on Saturday to claim the Cuttitta Cup in their penultimate Guinness Six Nations fixture.
Steyn was delighted to see his Glasgow clubmate excel on such a landmark occasion for him.
“Ali’s unbelievable,” said Steyn. “It was great to see, especially on his 50th cap. He’s someone who wears his heart on his sleeve.
“We all know how much playing for Scotland means to him. It was great to see him at his best – attacking, running the ball, making line-breaks and creating tries.”
Several of Scotland’s flair players came to the fore on a day when they scored five eye-catching tries, and wing Steyn believes it bodes well for next weekend’s campaign-concluding trip to Ireland.
“The strength of our attack was a massive positive,” said Steyn. “A lot of it came from turnover and our ability to quickly transition, which we’re really chuffed with.
“We just want to take that forward to Dublin, where we know that game management and playing rugby in the right areas of the park is going to be crucial early on.
“We’ll back ourselves to take chances when they arise, but the biggest thing is we need to be ready to go there and front up.”
While Scotland generally attacked impressively in Rome, they were undermined by some slack defending which resulted in them conceding three tries, including two in the closing quarter.
Reflecting on the Italy match overall, Steyn said: “I think first up, five points away from home in the Six Nations, you’re going to take that any day of the week.
“We knew especially on defence we weren’t as consistent as we wanted to be, but I thought that for most of the game we controlled it pretty well and played rugby where we wanted to play it: in their half.
“We were disappointed we didn’t kick on in that second half and really make it count. We weren’t happy to finish the match the way we did but everything just turns to next week now and we know that defending like that next week isn’t going to be good enough.
“The game in Dublin is going to be massive, and finishing on a high is the top priority for us.”
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