South Africa captain John Smit said his team had proved their critics wrong by employing a more open running game in their 32-25 Tri-Nations win over Australia on Saturday.
The Springboks had been criticised by Australia and New Zealand for their reliance on kicking in their previous matches but scored four tries in Saturday’s win.
“It was pretty good and we got the result we wanted,” Smit said in a televised interview.
“We’ve said it all along. We’re going to do what’s necessary to win and today (Saturday) what was necessary was a bit of running and a few tries.”
Australia coach Robbie Deans said he was impressed by South Africa’s tactics and performance.
“They’ve always been a side that’s been capable of playing any which way they choose but their first priority is to win the Tri-Nations and they have done it and they have done it convincingly,” he said.
“They’re a difficult nut to crack. They’ve got a real presence about them and they defend well but the (Australian) boys showed at the death we’re not that far away.”
South Africa signalled their intentions from the start when scrumhalf Fourie du Preez scored off a quick tap and outside centre Jaque Fourie burst through a hole inside the first 10 minutes.
Wing Bryan Habana added two more tries to seal a bonus point for the visitors. Australia scored three late consolation tries, two from flyhalf Matt Giteau and one from wing Lachie Turner.
It was the third narrow loss in four matches for the Wallabies this season and Deans said he was confident they could turn it around when they play the world champion Springboks in Brisbane next Saturday.
“They’re a difficult nut to crack. They’ve got a real presence about them and they defend well but the boys showed at the death we’re not that far away,” Deans said.
“It would be easy to take the soft option and go belly up but there’s a lot of pride in this group and I think you’ll see that next week.”
Wallabies captain George Smith was also left to rue his team’s slow start to the match, allowing the South Africans top open up a 12-0 lead inside the first 10 minutes.
“You can’t do that against quality sides like the Springboks,” Smith said.
“There were positives there but once again we lost in a close one.”