Springbok captain John Smit praised his team for a “job well done” after their 32-25 victory over the Wallabies in Perth on Saturday, which strengthened their grip on the 2009 Tri-Nations trophy.
Outscoring the Australians by four tries to three, despite having been branded as boring by their Australasian rivals in recent weeks, South Africa have taken a near unassailable lead in the competition.
With two more games – against the Aussies in Brisbane next week and New Zealand in Hamilton a week later, two more points will give the Boks their third Tri-Nations title.
But it was the clinical manner in which the Boks dismantled the Wallabies in the first half in Perth, taking a 23-6 lead at the break, that really impressed.
And becoming the first team this year to score a four-try bonus point also sent a strong message to their rivals.
The Bok captain, Smit, said his team got the result they wanted – five points on the standings from the game.
“We shortened our week [arriving in Perth in two shifts, on Monday and Tuesday] and we were fresh. We saw the energy in the first 50 [minutes],” Smit said in his post-match reaction.
He admitted that the Boks got into a bit of a “defensive mode” in the last 30.
“The one thing about the Aussies, they just keep coming for the 80 minutes, no matter what,” the Bok skipper added.
Asked about being the first team this year to score four tries in a Tri-Nations game, Smit said it was all part of the plan.
“We said all along that we will do whatever we need to win and tonight was a bit of running and a few tries and it did the job,” the Bok captain said.
He admitted that they were happy with their defensive effort, for most part, despite conceding two late tries – in the 75th and 79th minutes – to give the Aussies a bonus point.
“We spoke about it [defence] at half-time, about getting another half-a-metre, just getting on the referee’s good side.
“There was a lot of penetration coming and we just needed to stay organised,” he said.
He admitted that Bryan Habana’s 52nd minute try was the killer blow.
“Half-time [leading 23-6] there was big talk about putting just one more nail in just after the break and the boys listened for a change,” Smit added.
(via: Rugby 365)
A 23-man squad have been named to take on New Zealand on the 25th July 2009 in the Vodacom Tri-Nations.
The group includes 22 players that took part in the recently completed 2-1 Test Series victory over the British & Irish Lions. The only newcomer is Sharks prop Jannie du Plessis, who returns to the national set-up after last playing for the Springboks against England at the end of 2008.
Fourteen of the 23 players selected were amongst the match 22 in the third Test against the Lions on July 4.
The group includes lock Bakkies Botha, whose two-week suspension ends this week. The Bok squad assembles in Bloemfontein on Thursday afternoon.
Players in the broader Springbok squad, who played against the Lions but have not been selected for the first Vodacom Tri-Nations Test, have been released to play for their provinces in the Absa Currie Cup.
“The sooner we can get Argentina in the Tri-Nations the better, said Hoskins.
Im meeting with them in Buenos Aires on January 16. Rugby in Argentina needs a professional arm. The International Rugby Board is very eager to see Argentina playing in the Tri-Nations.
Apart from the professional arm that needs to be established, rugby in Argentina also requires a culture of professionalism
Their top players are based in Europe and a plan has to be made to get them back to Argentina.
Hoskins will provide feedback to the Sanzar board after his meeting.
He hopes Argentina will be able to contract their players when their deals run out in Europe.
There is so much potential for rugby in Argentina. They view South Africa as an older brother. Danie Craven and Izak van Heerden did a lot to promote rugby there, said Hoskins.
If we help them now, we are continuing the work of our predecessors.
The Springbok team versus the Wallabies on Saturday in Johannesburg:
15. Conrad Jantjes
14. Odwa Ndungane
13. Adrian Jacobs
12. Jean de Villiers
11. Jongi Nokwe
10. Butch James
9. Fourie du Preez
8. Pierre Spies
7. Juan Smith
6. Schalk Burger
5. Victor Matfield (captain)
4. Andries Bekker
3. Brian Mujati
2. Bismarck Du Plessis
1. Beast Mtawarira
16. Adriaan Strauss
17. Jannie du Plessis
18. Danie Rossouw
19. Luke Watson
20. Ricky Januarie
21. Ruan Pienaar
22 Percy Montgomery
Australia beat South Africa 27-15 at the Absa Stadium in Durban on Saturday to end the world champions’ hopes of winning the Vodacom Tri-Nations title.
The victory was Australia’s first in South Africa since 2000.
Captain Stirling Mortlock and winger Lote Tuqiri scored second-half tries to seal the Australian victory although South Africa closed the gap in the final quarter with two tries by centre Adrian Jacobs.
Australia flyhalf Matt Giteau gave a masterful display with the boot, kicking three conversions and two penalties.
Loosehead prop Benn Robinson scored a 27th-minute try as Australia seized a 10-0 halftime lead which they never relinquished.
Robinson plunged over the line from close range after he picked up the ball from a ruck, which followed kicks behind the Springbok defence by Giteau and replacement centre Ryan Cross. Wing Jongikhaya Nokwe conceded a free kick after he was caught in possession.
Giteau converted to add to his eighth-minute penalty.
Springbok left wing Bryan Habana has sustained a hamstring injury and the conservative medical opinion is that he will be out of action for ten days, ruling himself out for the Vodacom Tri-Nations encounter against the Wallabies in Durban this coming Saturday.Meanwhile, Vodacom Free State winger Jongi Nokwe will remain in training with the Springboks and management have also decided to add Ruan Pienaar to the squad again.
The Sharks have a bye in the Absa Currie Cup this coming weekend and seeing that Ruan have been part of the squad for the greater part of this season, we thought it would make sense for us to involve him again, explained Andy Marinos, the Manager of National Teams.
The Springbok management has confirmed that Vodacom Chedetahs hooker Adriaan Strauss will replace the suspended Birmarck du Plessis in the Springbok squad. The 23-year old Strauss received his call-up to national duty after a Sanzar judicial hearing suspended Du Plessis for three weeks following an incident during the Vodacom Tri-Nations match on Saturday in Dunedin between the Springboks and the All Blacks. He arrives early Tuesday morning in Perth.
Springbok management also announced they would not be appealing against the three-week suspension.
Du Plessis was found guilty of breaching Law 10.4(k) by making contact with the eye area of New Zealand flanker Adam Thompson in Saturday’s historic clash at Carisbrook.
Strauss is the second hooker to join the Springbok camp in as many weeks after Vodacom Western Province hooker Schalk Brits flew in to Wellington following the withdrawal through injury of Bok captain John Smit, who subsequently underwent a groin operation late last week.