Boks hitting the mark
Sun, 11 Nov 2012 19:41
We probably would have lost this game at the beginning of the year
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers pointed to his team's defence as the key to their first away victory of the year against Ireland in Dublin.
De Villiers' side scored 13 unanswered points in the second half to overhaul the hosts, and the experienced centre was full of praise for the character they showed to bounce back from a frustrating first half.
"I thought in the first half the Irish put us under a bit of pressure, we probably gave them too many yards at some stages and that put us under pressure and we gave away penalties.
"At the beginning of this tour I said that this team needs to take it to the next level on this tour and I definitely thought we did that in the second half," he said.
De Villiers said that the fact that they prevented Ireland from crossing their tryline was especially pleasing.
"We definitely still need to improve, but the fact that we didn't concede any tries is a positive for us," he said.
The Bok skipper admitted that he was relieved with the way that his side bounced back after an indifferent first-half display.
"We didn't even really look at the score as such, for us it was just the way we were playing that was unacceptable - what we were doing was just not what we wanted to do.
"The response that we got from the team was just fantastic, it was probably the same situation that we were in in Mendoza earlier in the year and we didn't manage to pull that one through," he said.
Coach Heyneke meyer said that the composure the Boks showed in the second half highlighted how far they have come as a team this year.
"We probably would have lost this game at the beginning of the year, so it was our first away win and I am very happy with the youngsters.
"When we played Argentina away we had to come from behind and draw and we really learned from that and it was an awesome performance in the second half," he said.
Meyer added that although there are plenty of areas in which his team can improve he has taken great encouragement from the gritty victory.
"I thought Ireland were superb in the first half, they turned us around by kicking behind us and really put the pressure on us.
"Not to concede any points in the second half I believe this was a great performance, obviously we have got high standards and want to do better," he said.
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