The Springboks remained upbeat, despite defeat and a growing injury list, when they arrived home from their three-match Australasian Tri-Nations trip on Sunday.
Rugby 365 reports that Bok captain Victor Matfield, speaking after the team’s arrival in Johannesburg, was upbeat about South Africa’s prospects of winning the Tri-Nations series – despite losing two of their games, including a 9-16 loss to Australia at the weekend.
“It is easier to win at home,” said Matfield.
“But it is still going to be tough. We are in a position where we can still win the competition if we win our three home games, especially with the bonus points, which is particularly valuable at the end of the tournament.”
The Bok captain said the bonus point the Boks had taken from their defeat against the Wallabies in Perth at the weekend could be vital as the end of the series looms.
Coach Peter de Villiers said that he will certainly look at the fit-again World Cup Springboks Fourie du Preez and Jaque Fourie for the Test against Argentina in Johannesburg on August 9.
Other players like versatile forward Danie Rossouw and centre Wynand Olivier could also be considered following their superb performances for the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup over the past few weeks, while the fitness of prop BJ Botha could perhaps count against his return in a position where the Boks had been found wanting.
De Villiers also had good news regarding the injury to star flank Schalk Burger, who left the field with what seemed to be a neck injury.
Burger should be fit to play in the Tri-Nations home leg and in the Test against Argentina on August 9.
Burger was sidelined for months in 2006 after a neck injury which required surgery.
De Villiers, however, said the decision to take him off the field was merely a precautionary measure.
“Taking him off was just precautionary,” De Villiers said.
Burger will undergo further tests in Cape Town on Monday.
The Boks will reassemble in Pretoria on Wednesday, July 30, to prepare for Argentina, while a number of them will be informed on Monday if they have to join their unions until the squad is announced for the remaining three home Tri-Nations Tests against Australia (two) and New Zealand.
A number of changes could be on the cards.
Matfield put the defeat at the weekend down to the fact that his side did not use their opportunities in the first half.
“In the first half we created opportunities that we failed to use and we were outplayed in the second half.”
De Villiers said the Boks would be better prepared against Australia at home after seeing the Aussies adapting well to the ELVs which they played under for the first time in a Test.Tweet