Boks seeking perfection

Tue, 26 Nov 2013 07:12
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While 2013 may rate among one of the best years for Springbok rugby, but the team will not be satisfied until they have secured a perfect record.

While 2013 may rate among one of the best years for Springbok rugby, blindside flank Willem Alberts said the team would not be satisfied until they had secured a perfect record.

Coach Heyneke Meyer's team firmly entrenched themselves as the No.2 side in the World by winning 10 of their 12 games this year, and only losing to the All Blacks who recoreded the first unbeaten year in the professional era.

However, Alberts said that the Boks will only be satisfied until they have unseated New Zealand as the best side in the world.

"The season as a whole was very successful, it is one of the best years the Boks' have ever had, but we will never be satisfied if (we) don't win all our games," Alberts said on arrival in Johannesburg on Monday.

"We've worked hard as a team - from the management down to the supporting staff - so it was a good season for everyone."

The Springboks ended the season with a 19-10 victory over France at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday evening.

Springbok lock and 2013 IRB World Player of the Year nominee Eben Etzebeth said as they had failed to topple the All Blacks this season, they would have to do it next year.

"We set ourselves goals at the beginning of the year and one of those was to be unbeaten on the end-of-year tour and we've done that," said Etzebeth, who arrived in Johannesburg on crutches after sustaining a foot injury.

"We've won 10 out 12 games which is quite good but we wanted to go for 12 out of 12."

The Stormers lock said that he hopes his injury is not too serious as he looks forward to finally spending some time off after a gruelling year.

"I am going for scans tomorrow and hopefully it is not too bad as I want to enjoy the December holiday without these crutches," he said.

Etzebeth, 22, was the youngest of the five IRB World Player of the Year nominees, which included Kieran Read and Ben Smith (both New Zealand), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales and the British and Irish Lions) and Sergio Parisse (Italy).

He said the team used the outgoing tour - which included the victory over France, a 28-0 crushing of Scotland and a 24-15 win over Wales - to get the players used to the playing conditions ahead of the 2015 World Cup in England.

"The next World Cup is in the northern hemisphere and we've won all our games there over the last two years. So everything is going well for us in our preparations as we work towards the next World Cup."