Coach Dick Muir said the Emerging Springboks did a great job of disrupting the British and Irish Lions ahead of Saturday’s second Test in Pretoria after his charges forced a 13-all draw at Newlands on Tuesday evening.
Muir said that in the process several players in the Emerging Boks side had put up their hands for South African selection through their polished displays in trying winter conditions, although he stopped short of naming those who delivered stand-out performances.
“Our job was to disrupt the Lions this week going into the Test on Saturday and I think the boys did a great job there,” said Muir. “We did not win but at least we got a draw.
“It was incredible that this team could put up a performance like this because they came together in such a short space of time.
“The Emerging Boks showed guts and determination and that’s what will be required if they are chosen to wear the green and gold.
“Even after Saturday’s defeat in the Durban Test the Lions came into this match with momentum but I think we did well to reverse that in this match.
“In the first half we probably tried to play too much rugby but in the second half we got it right in those conditions and then we managed to get back strongly in the game.”
Dewald Potgieter, the Emerging Springboks captain, said the conditions were very trying but at least his team were well prepared for the elements. “I don’t think people will ever understand what we (the Emerging Springboks) achieved out there today,” said Potgieter.
“We had about four training sessions and the draw was the best thing that could happen to this very special bunch of players.
“Conditions were very tough out there but at least we knew about it and it was part of our preparation.
“Hats off to the guys who made the technical decisions on the field and towards the end guys like Earl Rose and Willem de Waal made sure we stayed in the right parts of the field.”
Flanker Jean Deysel, who was named ‘Man-of-the-Match’ for his storming display, said the Emerging Boks were well prepared for a physical battle. “We knew that physicality would be a strong factor and our plan was to keep the ball among the forwards, and they tried to do the same thing,” said Deysel.
“With conditions such as they were we had to come up with competitive kicks to test the opposition. The battles at the breakdowns were tough because of the new laws so it was important to get numbers there,” he added.
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