The Junior Springbok win over their All Black counterparts at North Shore Stadium in Auckland on Friday appears to come at just the right time to invigorate the Springboks ahead of the kick-off to the international season.
Speaking at a press conference on the eve of the friendly clash with a World XV at Newlands, Bok skipper Victor Matfield said he had watched the game and he and his teammates had been inspired by the way Handre Pollard’s men had won playing the South African way, with strong set-pieces forming the backbone of their 33-24 win in an IRB Junior World Cup pool game.
“As we saw in that game, the set-pieces are what everything revolves around and if you can get good set-piece ball you are on the front foot and are in a good position to play attacking rugby,” said Matfield.
“What was good about the game was that it showed the work that Rassie Erasmus (SA Rugby Union Performance Director) and Heyneke Meyer are doing in ensuring that all the national teams play the same way. The Junior Boks played with great passion and commitment and it was good to see.”
The South African juniors are getting more used to winning against the Baby Blacks, as they have done so a few times at age-group level over the past few years. However, what was particularly noteworthy from Matfield’s viewpoint was that this game was played in Auckland.
“The more the youngsters win in New Zealand, the more the belief just grows and grows. Every time we win against them, we just grow from strength to strength and get better and better. What was particularly pleasing about this game is that although it was not played at Eden Park, it was played in Auckland. So hopefully that is something that will give these youngsters confidence when they play there in the future and will prove to them that they are capable of winning anywhere.”
Source: SuperSport - by