The Springboks can turn the tide of criticism against them by beating Australia in the Tri-Nations rugby match in Johannesburg on Saturday, says Peter Grant.
Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that the Stormers flyhalf, who was in the national squad before undergoing shoulder surgery recently, believes South Africa can win at Coca-Cola Park.
“We have seen, especially in the Test against Argentina, what unbelievable talent and skills the players have,” Grant said here on Wednesday.
“It’s not nice for anyone at the moment,” he said, referring to the criticism the Springboks and the coaching staff had endured after losing four of their five Tri-Nations matches this year.
“I’ve been there and I know how much work is being done.
“The results are not up to expectations but the Springboks are looking good. We were very excited after the Test against Argentina. That’s the potential we have. But we are tripping over the last hurdle.
“I believe the Boks can do it this week. They have enough experience and they will certainly get stuck in.
“There have been many opportunities. We hope this is the weekend when everything comes together.”
Shoulder had regressed
The South Africans are struggling to convert their opportunities into tries, with flyhalf Butch James not at his best.
Now Grant’s shoulder operation has also limited the options Springbok coach Peter de Villiers had.
However, the Western Province player could not delay surgery any longer. “I realised after the match against Boland how much the shoulder had regressed.
“I did not want to play for the Springboks in that condition because people don’t realise what you’re going through. They see only what is shown on television.
“The operation went well. I hope to be in the WP squad for the match against the Cheetahs next week,” he said.
Grant feels Joe Pietersen can make a success of his opportunities to play at flyhalf during this time.
The versatile Pietersen had to wear No 10 when Province lost 10-32 in their Currie Cup match against the Sharks and will have to do so again in the match against the Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Friday night.
“I had a lot of confidence in Joe from the start,” Grant said. “He is skilful and fast and he kicks well. He did well at the start of the season when he moved into the flyhalf channel from time to time.
“It’s going to be tough at Loftus Versfeld but Joe will use his kicking ability to the team’s advantage. Of course, much depends on the forwards.”Tweet