Springboks confidence growing after Fijian fling

The Springboks 49-3 Rugby World Cup victory over Fiji has done the South African’s confidence the world of good but there is still work to do according to coach Peter de Villiers.


South Africa went to the top of Pool D and after Ireland beat Australia in their Pool match the Springboks look likely to face Australia in the quarter finals.


“You can never be happy with a performance, we missed two kick-offs which allowed them to get close to our try line, so there are a few things we need to work on,” said De Villiers.


“If you look at how we broke down the wall in front of us with our directness and the opportunities we created out wide, yes it was not too bad.”


De Villiers said that his charges improved in most areas of play, but that they struggled in the opening stages of the match.


“The first 20 minutes belonged to Fiji, we missed five or six tackles which gave them momentum in the game and we can’t allow that going forward.


“I think we pride ourselves in our defence, we got it together after that and it worked pretty well in our favour. We must be ruthless on defence.” he said.


The Springboks delivered a far more precise tactical kicking performance than what was the case in last week’s narrow victory over Wales.


De Villiers attributed the improvement to the work his forwards did in providing quick ball.


“If you look at the forwards, how well they played and the way they cleaned and they allowed the ball to be free for the halfback,” he said.


“They created the space for them to play in and that is why Fourie du Preez is the best in the world — if you give him that space to play in his decision making is then sound.


“We want to improve every week, there are a few things we have to improve on for the next game,” added De Villiers.


While the general thought was that the Springboks would play a more structured game and only use their forwards against an opponent that loves running with the ball, the Boks surprised by delivering a flair filled performance.


De Villiers said that his men did not necessarily play a more expansive game.


“I think we played the situation much better today.


“We saw them with four players back and you could see that Fiji came out there to attack us,” he said.


“For us then to hold onto the ball and create our own opportunities by bundling them up in the middle — it worked for us.”

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