Still room for Bok improvement

Sun, 15 Jun 2014 13:28
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Springbok captain Victor Matfield knows that their performance against Wales was not perfect and has challenged his side to improve.

Springbok captain Victor Matfield knows that their performance against Wales was not perfect and has challenged his side to improve.

The Boks were ruthless in the first half against Wales at Kings Park on Saturday, running in four tries to take a comfortable 28-9 lead into half-time before a more disjointed second half saw them end with a 38-16 victory.

Whilst obviously happy with the team's performance in the first 40 minutes, Matfield would like to see them take a step up in the second and final Test in Nelspruit on Saturday and dominate for 80 minutes in the same way they ruled the first half in Durban.

"If you look at the scoreline of course we are happy, but there is still a lot of work to be done and this week we can get better.

"There were a few mistakes which brought them back into the game, if you are up against a quality side and you make mistakes sometimes you have to defend for 10 or 15 minutes in your own half to get out again.

"In the first half we just did not make mistakes so hopefully that is one of the things we will fix this week," he said.

Coach Heyneke Meyer said that the changes in the second half had made it difficult for his side to build the momentum they had enjoyed before the half-time break.

"I thought we were very clinical in the first half, in the second half a lot of new combinations came on and we missed one or two line-outs and from there they kept us under pressure.

"In an ideal world we would have scored another one or two tries and I thought we were close, but we didn't get as much quick ball in the second half," he said.

Meyer was frustrated by the solitary try his team conceded late in the game, but was particularly pleased with the step up they made in the scrums and at the breakdown.

"I wasn't happy with their one try, that is a non-negotiable for us and it came from a turnover deep in their own half.

"We were better at the breakdown, we are not used to playing against Northern Hemisphere countries. I thought their [Wales] defence was awesome and against any other country we probably would have scored two or three more tries.

"I asked the guys to put their bodies on the line today and I am very pleased with their response.

"We weren't happy about scrummaging against the World XV, but I thought we were superb tonight. There were no penalties."

The only real injury concern ahead of the Test in Nelspruit is replacement flyhalf Johan Goosen who hobbled off with a knee injury.

"We always knew it was going to be physical, it was like a warzone out there but most of the guys should be fine.

Johan Goosen is the only guy we are really worried about, at this stage we are a little bit worried about his knee," said Meyer.