With the whole rugby public clearly upset with the performance of the Springboks these past two weeks, Jean de Villiers and his team is under no illusion that they have a massive step up to make to challenge the Australians and All Blacks.
On the Springboks arrival back from their narrow win in Salta, the supersport.com website reports that the Springbok captain knows that the rugby public is not pleased with the results in the last two test against the Pumas.
De Villiers is first to admit that none of the two opening test matches in this year’s Rugby Championship was anything close to their abilities but that a win is a win which they will take at this stage of the competition.
The team knows that there is allot of work to done before they take on the Aussies and All Blacks in two consecutive weekends.
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“We’re not happy with our performance but definitely happy with the two wins,” De Villiers said on arriving back in Johannesburg.
“I think we all know that this is a very tough competition and if you keep on winning – if you are not firing on all cylinders, that is a positive result. We’ll take the two wins but still a lot of hard work that needs to be done before the next game.”
De Villiers again pointed out that the Argentineans are a much better team than what their world rankings would portray.
The fact that the Springboks is under allot of pressure to perform on their Australasian tour is a fact that all in the Springbok group acknowledge.
De Villiers made it clear that they are not satisfied with their performances and except the public pressure on them to perform on the standard they know they can.
While De Villiers is still adamant that the Argentineans are a lot better side than their 12th place on the IRB Rankings portrays, he accepts that the pressure is on the team to show they can do better when they head to Perth. Argentina’s lowly log position comes mainly from the fact they play a B-team in the June internationals and only have their European based stars for the Rugby Championship, meaning their ranking has been in freefall for the last two years.
“I think that’s a good thing (that the public expect more from us),” De Villiers admitted. “If the supporters and public can put as much pressure on us as possible to achieve better and perform better, then I see that as a positive sign. I think once we are happy with mediocrity and just putting up an average performance then I think we are in trouble. We see it as a good thing and we know we didn’t play well. We need to up our game and we need to improve.”
One thing the Springbok captain pointed out is that they took note of the impressive performance from the All Blacks over Australia but their first objective is the Aussies in Perth.
“They were impressive but we are only seeing them in three weeks’ time,” De Villiers said on the All Blacks.
“The focus for us right now is Australia and putting up a good performance against them, after that we’ll take on the next one.” At the end of the day we’re happy that we won two out of two and we’re top of the log at the moment in the Rugby Championship. “But we are very realistic in the way we played and what lies ahead for us.
“There needs to be improvement and if we walk away with the trophy at the end of the tournament we need to improve and we need to put up better performances.”
With the Springboks under par performances all focus will be to perform to their ability in the next two away games. One thing is for sure the Springboks is still a point above the All Blacks on the log and need to win their next two game to be in the running for the championships.