The Springboks were disappointed to miss out on a much needed bonus point as they beat the Wallabies 28-8 in an eventful Rugby Championship Test on Saturday. They are now set up for a deciding encounter with the All Blacks, but have it all to do.
A record win over the Wallabies in Cape Town wasn’t enough to satisfy skipper Jean De Villiers, who came off the field saying that he’s never been so disappointed to beat them by twenty points.
Scoring three tries in total, two in the first half and one ten minutes out, the Springboks failed to pick up a crucial bonus point that would have put them in a good position going into next week’s crunch championship decider with the All Blacks.
“If you had given us a 20-point win over Australia at the beginning of this year, we would have grabbed it,” a frustrated De Villiers said post match. “To beat a very good Australian side by that margin is a great achievement, but having given ourselves 40 minutes to score two tries in the second half, there is some disappointment that we did not manage it.”
Discipline was a bit of a problem as a yellow card to Flip van der Merwe, who was has since been suspended, didn’t help matters. Duane Vermeulen was also yellow carded for a deliberate slapdown, while the Wallabies lost two players of thei own, with Michael Hooper sinbinned for a dangerous tackle, and Sitaleki Timani carded for leading with the shoulder.
The home side will be pleased with some of the rugby they produced, specifically the play of Fourie Du Preez and the try scored by Zane Kirchner, but will be unhappy with the loss of momentum in the second half, and the try they let in, scored by debutant Chris Feauai-Sautia.
“I want to see a lot of improvement against the All Blacks. We want to be the best team in the world and win the World Cup and to do that we must improve game-by-game,” said coach Heyneke Meyer, who seemed content with looking at the bigger picture.
New Zealand scored a bonus point victory over Argentina, so are five points clear going into the final match. To win the Rugby Championship next weekend at Ellis Park, the Springboks will need to beat the All Blacks by seven or more, and score four tries in the process.
Below are extended match highlights, including some huge tackles, great rugby and one quality sidestep in particular. There were a few talking points, good and bad, so let us know your thoughts.