Springbok coach, Allister Coetzee, was pleased with the effort of his team after they beat France 37-15 in the second of three tests in the Castle Lager Incoming Series at Growthpoint Kings Park on Saturday. The Springboks won the first Test in Pretoria last week and although the series is now won, Coetzee was not satisfied that the Springboks have reached their best form.
“Every test match is a must win for us. The series is won, but there is no relief. Every match is as important as the next. We will keep trying to improve,” Coetzee said.
“I am very proud of the way the team has grown, this is a different feeling from nine months ago. This was an outstanding performance, but there is still a lot of work to do.”
Coetzee pointed to certain areas where the team did well.
“I am proud of our set piece and proud of the attack, but in particular the way we defended,” he said.
“The team plays for each other and that was shown on the defense tonight. They do it for each other. The system does not tackle, the players in the system need to make the tackle. The reaction time of players, to get back on their feet and to get back in the position again, that was very rewarding to see.”
Coetzee felt for Teboho Mohoje, who was taken off the field after a heavy blow but was pleased with the performance delivered by Jean-Luc du Preez, his replacement.
“Oupa’s early injury was unfortunate. Jean-Luc played well. We have a squad of 31 and it is not easy to select the match-23 as the players are close to each other in ability. The bench players made a huge impact, look at the try Coenie Oosthuizen scored when he came on. That is a good situation to have.”
The team stayed calm when France made early inroads into the Springbok defense, scoring in the third minute, the coach said.
“The French dominated the collisions in the opening minutes, but the guys did not panic and slowly we got the better of them. Our planning has been spot-on for this series. Lots of things behind the scene have changed and things are falling into place.
“We have not achieved anything, but if we continue to develop and build, we will be a force to be reckoned with. The game is also about confidence and that is growing.”
Springbok captain, Warren Whiteley, also praised the team structures for the match.
“Our processes have been accurate, but we still have a massive test ahead of us in Johannesburg. The first 15 minutes in the second half, we were under pressure, they turned us over a couple of times, but the character of the side was tested and we came through. I am excited because we have started a foundation of something that can become special,” Whiteley said.