‘Lots of work’ for Boks

2013-08-19 00:00

SPRINGBOK and All Black captains, Jean de Villiers and Richie McCaw, have both warned their players to keep their feet on the ground after crushing victories in their weekend Rugby Championship internationals.

The Springboks started shakily but finished with a roar to beat an outclassed Argentina 73-13 at Soccer City on Saturday night. Hours earlier it was a painful baptism for new Australian coach Ewen McKenzie as the All Blacks thumped the Wallabies 47-29 in Sydney. The All Blacks outscored the Australians by six tries to two while the Boks ran in nine tries to one in Soweto.

De Villiers, concerned at the ragged start and many missed chances, insisted that not too much should be read into their one-sided win.

“We still didn’t use all the opportunities we created, and we didn’t capitalise on everything we did,” De Villiers said.

“We have to see the game in perspective. They got two yellow cards and one intercept try against them. We still have a lot of work to do.”

He said that noisy support from the 50 000-plus rugby and soccer supporters had lifted the players.

“The atmosphere was fantastic. We really enjoy that, and this is the difference in playing at home. We were happy to see the crowd and must thank them for their support. It was about the whole of South Africa and uniting the nation behind an icon.

“You could say the Madiba magic really worked for us and we were very proud of our performance.”

The Bok scrum stood up strongly and their line-out jumpers dominated Argentina.

Morné Steyn missed just one kick and scored 28 points in the win against the Pumas, who had two forwards sin binned.

The Boks only started to take total control on the half-hour mark when Pumas hooker Eusebio Guinazu was sin-binned for knocking down a scoring pass and South Africa scored 14 points in four minutes for a 26-6 half-time lead. The second half turned into a rout as the Bok replacements Fourie du Preez, Pat Lambie, Siya Kolisi, Bismarck du Plessis and Jan Serfontein all made an impact.

Pumas coach Santiago Phelan said the players were “very disappointed” with their showing, particularly after they had performed creditably in their debut season last year. “In the first half we didn’t take control of the ball, we were under pressure everywhere. In the second half we were broken.”

The 36-year-old captain Felipe Contepomi, who scored all his side’s points said that his players’ lack of rugby in recent months could not be used as a reason for their capitulation.

“I could give you 100 excuses but I won’t. It is an honour to play in this competition and we want to do well.

“Last year we struggled a bit, this year we struggled a lot,” Contepomi said. “It’s hard when you take a shot like that. We have to learn, and fast.

“South Africa were magnificent and once they got on the front foot it was impossible to stop them. I hope we can do much better when the Springboks play in Argentina this weekend.”

This Saturday’s fixtures

New Zealand vs Australia, Wellington,

9.35 am

Argentina vs South Africa, Mendoza,

9.10 pm.

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