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How the Boks are 'evolving'

Sun, 18 Aug 2013 07:52
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There is plenty to work on
Quote-end

South African captain Jean de Villiers cautioned supporters to tone down the euphoria over their record romp against Argentina, but admitted the Springboks are 'evolving' into a more complete unit.

The Boks scored nine tries and flyhalf Morné Steyn kicked 28 points as they crushed Argentina 73-13 in their opening Rugby Championship match in Soweto on Saturday.

The triumph against rivals who had two forwards sin binned took the Springboks to the top of the table on points difference after world champions New Zealand won 47-29 against Australia in Sydney earlier.

It also created two Springboks records - with the winning margin bettering the 63-9 triumph in Johannesburg five years ago and the 86 match points eight more than in Springs 11 years ago.

Topping off a great day for South Africa was their first win at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, where they lost twice to the New Zealand All Blacks in previous appearances.

The Test took a decisive turn on the half-hour mark when Pumas hooker Eusebio Guinazu was yellow carded and South Africa scored 14 points in four minutes en route to a 26-6 half-time lead.

However, De Villiers was cautious not to get carried away by the large margin at the full-time hooter.

"I don't think we can say too much about this score," the Bok skipper said, adding: "We played well at times, but there is plenty to work on.

"It is a good start to the competition and obviously we had a helluva lot to play for [in honour of former President Nelson Mandela].

"Hopefully we made a lot of people proud, but there are still areas that we can improve on."

He said the try they let in at the end, when Puma captain Felipe Contepomi went over right on full-time, was is a bit disappointing.

However, it is the clinical manner in which they finished off the Argentineans in the second half and never let up, till that final lapse, that was most encouraging.

"There is definitely signs of us evolving and making sure that we are taking our opportunities," De Villiers said of the nine-try rout.

"There were still situations in the game where we created opportunities and didn't capitalise on them.

"You can't complain too much when you win 73-13."

De Villiers also praised Scottish breakdown expert Richie Gray, who he felt has made a huge impact since joining the Bok last month.

"Again, it is a great improvement and you can see the work Richie Gray has put in with the team," the Bok skipper said.

"It is paying off for us now, but again it is [just] one out of six games and we still have five very tough games ahead."

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