Springboks Assistant Coach Deon Davids said confirmed on the virtual media briefing that a walkthrough of the team had taken place in terms of injuries, and once the team receives the injury updates they will “hit the field running”.
Davids eluded to the fact that set pieces were the most critical aspects to the South African way of playing and mentions that the scrumming was difficult, but the team is in alignment when moving forward on how the competition is interpreted.
“We of course assess the performance of the players and the team as a whole – our discipline and goal kicking were points we discussed, “said Davids.
“It was definitely not one of our best performances, individual and team performance, “said Davids.
He highlights the goal kicking of Handre Pollard and the issue in not having a backup goal-kicker.
“ Pollard is a quality and hardworking player and we know what he can do and he takes pride in things he does , so we are confident he will correct that and is working specifically in that area, but we will look collectively at the squad and then make decisions accordingly, “ he said.
Looking at results and performances of the game Pollard missed three out of seven opportunities with Damian Willemse replacing Pollard.
“Damian Willemse is a talented player and I think we have to look further than just this game. He meant a lot to us at the weekend, he saved a certain try. While we have short term goals in terms of winning the Rugby Championship and the end of the year tour, we also have to think further and build experience. I think the experience the guys like Damian and Aphelele build now, will come in handy if we make use of them at the next World Cup.”
“That was something we did discuss and look at. Handre is a high quality professional, on and off the field, so he was the first guy to put his hand up and say he didn’t perform well,” said Davids.
He also added that the two teams have struggled in isolation, “as a result of lockdown and quarantine since the British & Irish Lions Tour, in terms of match fitness. We look at the performance for the day, we expect things to work out better and having more freedom and looking forward to the next challenge. “
Story by Fatima Said
Photo courtesy SA Rugby