Boks didn't change the gameplan
Boks didn't change the gameplanSHARE
South Africa did not change tactics, they simply executed better. This was the message of both coach Heyneke Meyer and Jean de Villiers after their 31-8 romp over Australia.
Veteran right wing Bryan Habana ran in three and there was one each for fullback Zane Kirchner and flank Francois Louw as the Springboks ended a run of five losses against the Wallabies after leading 14-3 at the break.
The triumph – the first four-try bonus point of this year's competition – lifted South Africa to 12 points, four behind New Zealand and four ahead of Australia in the Southern Hemisphere series.
Speaking after the five-tries-to-one victory in Pretoria De Villiers spoke of "better execution" rather than a change in tactics.
"It is much nicer to win than to lose and it all came together in this match," De Villiers said in reference to a lucky draw in Argentina, as well as losses in Australia and New Zealand.
"I thought we showed some character this week, and in this match. Australia is a quality side and at last things came together. We showed what we are capable of, but it is still not the finished article. We can still improve on a lot, but it is a good start for us."
He dismissed out of hand the notion that they had changed their gameplan.
"The funny thing is, we didn't change one thing, the gameplan stayed exactly the same," De Villiers said, adding: "I think our execution was better."
He said it wasn't even a 22-man effort, it was a 30-man effort.
"The eight guys who didn't play today showed great character during the week. Sometimes you need those guys to be positive, for the 22 that are playing to perform."
Asked about the five tries, De Villiers again said there was no change in tactics.
"The gaps opened up and this time we were able to get it into space … we managed to finish off the try-scoring opportunities.
"We have looked at the videos of the previous games and we just weren't able to finish off those opportunities.
"It is a nice win today, but from tomorrow we'll start focussing on New Zealand, because that will be another tough one – it will be a great day in Soweto and we are looking forward to that."
The coach, Meyer, said it was important that they keep our feet on the ground and stay humble.
"For me the important thing is that we made our country proud," Meyer said.
He echoed similar sentiments to his captain when asked about the change in tactics.
"We didn't change anything in the gameplan," the coach said, adding: "I know theres always a lot of criticism, but playing at home in front of your own crowd is always easier."
He spoke of the disappointment of leaving another three tries out on the field.
"There were centimetres in those.
"I always knew this team is onto something special."
He said that to win like this once is not good enough.
"Now the All Blacks are waiting and my focus is already on them."
He said what impressed him most was the tries came from broken field play.
"We have worked very hard on our broken field play," Meyer said, adding: "I also thought our defence was awesome at times and we put pressure on them … pressure [turned] into points.
"I have said from day one these are a very special bunch of guys and they really want to make their country proud – it will take a much bugger effort than this next week."