Springbok captain John Smit believes last weekend’s victory over Australia in Pretoria has given his team a platform to build on for this weekend’s follow-up Vodacom Tri-Nations clash at Vodacom Park in Bloemfontein.
The Boks won their first match of the 2010 series last weekend when they fought back from 7-21 down to beat the Wallabies 44-31.
“We will certainly use that to build on,” Smit told a media conference in the Free State capital on Friday.
“It’s a long way off from where we need to be but at least there’s a win under our belts. If we think we have turned the corner we (now) need to be able to open up on the straight and that will only be evident if we can follow through on that tomorrow”.
“Since our return from overseas we have been concentrating on what we can control, which is our game – our set pieces, what we do in general play, how we kick and whether we kick to give it away or to get it back.
“When you have a bad run of results you have to go back and touch on your basics and get them back to where they belong”.
Despite a rise in confidence and the fact that “Bloem” has been a happy hunting ground for his troops, Smit was adamant that the Wallabies would be a lot tougher this weekend.
“We would be naive to think they are not going to want to build on their first 20 to 30 minutes of that first test. They have made a few changes and they will want the changes to aid them in being able to get a victory in Bloemfontein. We certainly expect them to be coming out even harder this weekend”.
Asked about his direct opponent Stephen Moore, who starts the Test ahead of Saia Fainga’a on Saturday, Smit said he believed the Wallaby hooker would want to “lead from the front”.
“He is far more experienced and will pose a much bigger challenge up front. He has been playing good rugby for a long time and has been a stalwart of their pack over the last two or three years in terms of how they have turned themselves around,” Smit said.
Asked about the significance of playing for the Mandela Plate Smit replied: “There is always something to play for”.
“Every test match has massive prestige so to have one where we can possibly at least end second and win the Mandela Plate is important,” Smit said.
Issued by SARU Communications