Mixed emotions after 'not perfect' Springboks win

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 07:38
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RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP REACTION: Springbok coach Allister Coetzee had mixed feelings after a 37-15 Rugby Championship first round triumph over Argentina in chilly Port Elizabeth Saturday. 

"I am very pleased with the victory, but it was not a perfect performance," he said.

It was the fourth consecutive win for the Springboks this year following a 3-0 series whitewash of France during June. 

"Our scrumming was outstanding with [tighthead prop] Coenie Oosthuizen delivering an exceptional performance. Mauling is another area where we have improved and the bench made a telling difference when called on," he added.

Among those who came off the bench was 20-year-old flyhalf Curwin Bosch, whose entry three minutes from time was greeted with thunderous applause. The utility back shone for the Sharks in Super Rugby this year and many pundits believe he is destined to be a Springbok star.

Coetzee said patience and leadership was other contributing factors as South Africa began with a win in a competition that includes world champions New Zealand and Australia.

"The message at half-time was to remain patient and continue adhering to the game plan. Argentina were leaving gaps at the back and I think we exploited them with the players backing themselves when they found space." 

"The Pumas attacked us close to the rucks and we were ready for that with the guys putting in some big tackles," he added.

But Coetzee said there were also areas that concerned him.

"We need to improve in a number of areas, such as the lineouts and our tactical kicking," he admitted.

Captain and lock Eben Etzebeth hailed the near-capacity 43,500 crowd who braved the winter conditions to back the green and gold.

"A lot of credit must be given to the supporters here in Port Elizabeth. They created a great vibe, not only this evening but also during our open training sessions during the week," Etzebeth said.

Agence France-Presse

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Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 6 6 0 0 28
Australia 6 2 2 2 15
South Africa 6 2 2 1 14
Argentina 6 0 0 6 0