Springbok flyhalf Butch James is looking for a drastic improvement in his own form when South Africa play Australia in a Tri-Nations rugby Test here on Saturday.
Stephen Nell reports for www.news24.com.
After a below-par first Test, James produced a markedly better performance when the Springboks beat New Zealand 30-28 in Dunedin last week. But he is still not happy.
“I don’t think I played well,” he said here on Tuesday. “I was not good in most areas. I missed a few tackles and I took wrong options.”
James and Wallaby flyhalf Matt Giteau will take completely different styles into their clash on Saturday. The Springbok is a physical player who defends aggressively. Giteau, on the other hand, is an outstanding attacker.
“Giteau and Dan Carter are similar players,” James said. “They’re tough guys; a threat on attack, and good kickers. There’s nothing better than to test yourself against the two best flyhalves in the world.
“You can’t concentrate on Giteau because he’ll only put someone else into space. He is consistent but every now and then he is brilliant. I hope he has an ordinary day.”
James added, “We never talk about being physical. It is natural in the way South Africans play. I never go out to be physical. One just hopes it’s there, because it’s something you need in rugby.”
James feels the Wallabies may even be more dangerous opponents than the All Blacks were.
“I thought they were better than the All Blacks last year and I expect the same this weekend. I think the Wallabies will be really good.
“With their new coach (Robbie Deans), their counter-attacks and defence have gone to a new level.
“Deans’s teams are always a threat. Even when you take the lead, they are able to score from anywhere and take the initiative away from you.”
The Springbok will make a big mistake of they think the match against Australia is as good as won after the victory over New Zealand.
“It simply won’t happen,” James says. “It’s always dangerous to beat the All Blacks and play again the next weekend. If we think we merely have to turn up to win it’s going to be a long day.”Tweet