The easy part is over – Smit

South African captain John Smit has warned his teammates that the “easy part” of the World Cup tournament is over and the real work starts now.

Speaking after their 64-15 (nine tries to two) victory over the United State in Montpellier on Sunday, the Springbok skipper said he wasn’t entirely happy with all aspects of his team’s game – despite staying unbeaten throughout the pool stages.

“The second 40 was better than the first 40,” Smit said.

“The objective was to play as structured as possible, which was the biggest challenge for us on a day like this,” he said of the US Eagles, who were unknown to the South Africans.

“We didn’t get where we wanted to be in the first 40, but the second 40 there was more structure and that allowed the guys to play more as individuals a bit … within those structures. Yeah, I am happy with the result.”

Asked what he though his team needs to work on ahead of their quarter-final showdown against Fiji in Marseille next Sunday, the Bok captain said they need to be more clinical.

“We got a bit loose at the wrong times and we took a couple of chances in the wrong places. The risks we did take weren’t as calculated as I would have liked.

“Now we are certainly into the do-or-die [play-off] stages and the easy part is over as they say.

“Now we have to take it game for game and make sure we get those things right.”

Bok coach Jake White was also not entirely happy, but paid credit to the Americans for their part in Sunday’s showing.

“It was difficult, the scoreline looks a lot more impressive than it was,” White said.

“It was a lot tougher than the scoreline suggests, but we always knew it was going to be difficult against the Americans.”

He said some of the team’s objectives were reached.

“The important thing was, as I said before the game, to get some continuity and some of those moves we got together was very pleasing.

“We now go into the play-offs with a bit of confidence.

“I think we achieved the momentum we wanted to take into the quarter-finals,” he said, adding that some of the tackles his team slipped in allowing the Eagles in for two tries were not too pleasing.

“But that is me, as a coach, being really critical. We scored some nice tries and a lot of players got involved and obviously we used the whole bench as well, which is also pleasing.”

He admitted that they will have to do a lot of homework on Fiji this week.

“We’ll have Monday off, to settle the bumps and bruises, and then start working on Tuesday.

“There will be a lot of hard work from the assistant coaches – to see how much analysis we can do on Fiji.

“We didn’t plan to play Fiji in the quarters, but again it is going to be another opportunity for us to put things together so hopefully we can play like we did tonight [Sunday],” White added.


365 Digital

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.