A relieved Peter de Villiers had the pleasure of watching his Springboks run in eight tries to one, in their emphatic 53-8 Tri-Nations victory over Australia in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The under-fire coach and his management must have addressed areas of weakness this week, as the Springboks certainly came out with a “gameplan” at Coca-Cola Park.
Rugby 365 reports that the record points margin (45) the Boks achieved over the Wallabies on Saturday was attributed to a plethora of tries – four of which were scored by left wing Jongi Nokwe – which came off a much improved and supportive breakdown effort.
“If you score tries, it means there’s something happening in the midfield,” said De Villiers, in light of his forwards dominance with first phase possession.
“I always believed we could put some phases together and play a better brand of rugby. The guys were all prepared to play, and put their bodies on the line.
“If you looked at the breakdowns today, there were numbers in them. We only lost two or three balls in the contests, which is much better than we expected.
“And to win rugby games you have to score tries, which we did – none of them were lucky,” the coach added.
Apart from the South Africans much improved structures, De Villiers felt that a larger portion of his teams’ ability to turn their game around after recent failings could be attributed to character and self-belief.
“The guys believed in themselves today,” De Villiers said.
“They sat down and discussed about playing this way, and believed they could go through with it.
“A lot of people called for changes, but the great thing is we believed in each other, we believed in the players.”
Although the Springboks efforts will unfortunately have no bearing on the outcome of the Tri-Nations, their resounding victory in Johannesburg came at a good time – ending their campaign on a more positive note which should pave the way for their November international endeavors, and beyond.
“The end of the year will call for new challenges,” said De Villiers.
“We’ve now got the Currie Cup to look at, and there’s a lot of sore and tired bodies out there.
“We might have to leave some of our stars at home if we want to manage them correctly, considering what rugby lies in store next year with the Super 14 competition.
“So we’ve got some hard decisions to make for the end of year tour, but I hope we make the right ones,” he added.Tweet