Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer applauded his team’s defence, discipline and guts after South Africa edged out England 16-15 at Twickenham on Saturday.
This win secured the Springboks a third win on tour and ended the Castle Outgoing Tour in a very positive fashion. Earlier on tour Ireland and Scotland also suffered defeats against South Africa.
“It was very tough out there today. It could have gone either way. England is a quality side,” Meyer said afterwards.
“Our defense was awesome. There wasn’t any space and it was a wet ball. But our discipline was very good. We talked about it before the time and we really did well with that. We only conceded one try on the whole tour and I am very happy about that.”
Meyer has some praise for England’s effort, especially late in the game.
“A lot of our players could not train this week and there was definitely a swing in the momentum at the end of the match. England was getting the penalties and they were starting to get good ball.”
Meyer was very pleased to finish the season with a win.
“It was a tough year for us, we lost around 10 player after the World Cup last year and another ten through injury. We probably would have lost a match like this earlier in the year, but this time our guts has won it for us. That is what you need to win World Cups.”
Captain Jean de Villiers was equally proud of his team.
“It is great. We came over here wanting three wins and we got that, so we’re pretty happy tonight. I think we put ourselves under a lot of pressure and made it difficult for ourselves, but earlier in the year we probably would’ve lost this game and we learned from it, stuck through it and got through it.”
De Villiers admitted that their only try in the match came in a fortunate way, but said the bounce of the ball has gone against his side in the past as well.
“All tries are worth five points and we’ll definitely take that one. It was a well-worked try! Sometimes the bounce of the ball goes your way and definitely tonight it did. Two points the other way and we’re on the other end of it. It’s a very fine line in Test match rugby but this time around, we’ll take the win.”
Number 8 Duane Vermeulen was named man of the match.
“It’s a good one. Winning three in a row is especially good and we just enjoyed it. It was about adapting the conditions. It was a very tough game – especially the kicking game. It’s just a great feeling and the boys coming off the bench made a big difference.”