South African captain John Smit bemoaned the fact that his team went into a defensive mode after taking a commanding 20-3 lead with just under half-an-hour to go in their nailbiting 20-15 win over Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.
Rugby 365 reports that a Jean de Villiers intercept put daylight between the Boks and the Welsh Dragons, as the South Africans looked in command of this fixture at the Millennium Stadium.
However, four James Hook penalties later and the Boks were hanging on for dear life in the first of their three Tests on this tour to the United Kingdom.
A bleeding Smit said they knew it was going to be a tough game.
“The Welsh had spoke all week about how they would play and we knew they were going to bring a lot of passion,” the courageous Bok skipper said.
“But we are happy win the result, just to get a win on the board.”
However, he said his team should have kept the foot on the throttle after taking a 17-point lead in the 52nd minute, instead of sitting on their lead.
“Once we got that intercept, we fell back into a defence mode and it cost us dearly,” a clearly frustrated Smit said.
“It was certainly a most frustrating mistake, we sort of waited for the game to finish with 15 minutes to go and it was quite frustrating.
“We certainly we made it a little more difficult for ourselves than we should have.”
Smit also had to answer another often repeated question this week – about his move from hooker to tighthead prop.
He felt he passed the test against Welsh powerhouse Gethin Jenkins.
“Not too bad,” he said when asked how he felt about his first starting appearance in the No.3 jersey at Test level.
“All I heard was about how bad I was going to be this week,” he said, adding: “It didn’t go too badly, we got the win under the belt and when the team is winning I suppose that’s alright.”Tweet