Springboks are not there yet : De Villiers

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers was a happy man on Saturday after his Springbok team had beaten Australia 53-8 in their Tri-Nations match at Coca-Cola Park.

But, said the coach who has been under a huge lot of criticism lately and was loudly booed after last week’s loss to Australia in Durban, his Boks were not yet where he wanted them to be.

“This (this performance) is what I expect from the team, but we’re only about 60-70% of where we want to be.”

De Villiers said it was fair to say that the Springboks’ huge win came because of more structure and the fact that they had opted to play the game in Australian territory.

“It wasn’t an opportunity to show up their critics,” he said, “but an opportunity for the players to showcase their talents.”

Getting back to the game itself, De Villiers said that he knew that “when the guys put it together, somebody would get a beating.”

Jongi Nokwe, who set a new Tri-Nations record by scoring four tries, said he didn’t realise it was a record until after the match.


“I’m very happy,” he said speaking through an interpreter.

De Villiers added that he had confidence in the young speedster who played in only his second Tri-Nations and third Test overall on Saturday.

“There has been plenty of criticism, but it shows that the process is now beginning to work.”

Nokwe will have an ankle scan on Sunday or Monday to determine the grade of ankle injury he sustained.

Springbok captain Victor Matfield gave credit to the coaches and selectors for persevering with the side that suffered two heavy losses against the All Blacks and Wallabies the preceding two Saturdays.

“Today we used our opportunities,” he said

“Of course we were disappointed after the two defeats, but one becomes better if you can get through the tough times together,”

Wallabies captain Stirling Mortlock praised the Boks.”One never comes to a field expecting that kind of score to be put past you,” he said.

“All credit to the Boks. Every time they created they used the opportunities and every time we were turned over they punished us,” he conceded.

His coach Robbie Deans said that his team would not take much from this game into the decider against the All Blacks in Brisbane.

“We will rather focus on what is a great opportunity for us,” he said. “It has become a winner takes all match.”

“A test is a test. I’m not concerned with the numbers (score), but it hurts if you lose,” Deans said.

Sapa – Rugbyweek.com

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