Johannesburg - Schalk Burger says the Springbok captaincy inspired his performance against the All Blacks.
With regular captains Jean de Villiers and Victor Matfield missing out on national duty, head coach Heyneke Meyer appointed veteran loose forward Burger as the skipper for the crunch Test against New Zealand.
This saw the 32-year-old become the 55th captain in Springbok history.
And while South Africa suffered a disappointing 27-20 defeat after conceding a late try and penalty in the dying minutes, Burger delivered an impressive individual performance on attack and defence.
Burger said he enjoyed the occasion.
“It was great to be captain. I really enjoyed the experience,” Burger told MyPlayers.co.za. “It gave me extra motivation to perform on the field.
“I’m delighted I was given this opportunity later in my career as my experience helped me deal with the leadership and pressure that comes with the role.
“It was disappointing to end up on the losing team. We had the chances to put it away. We were five metres out from scoring what would’ve been a crucial try, but that’s rugby for you.”
Burger added that the South African players will learn from this experience.
“Both our defeats against the Wallabies and All Blacks were hard. The guys put in massive amounts of effort and we created opportunities, but we just couldn’t finish them,” said Burger.
“We’ll learn from this. The results are hard to swallow, but we have to keep on moving forward.”
For more exclusive player content, check out MyPlayers.co.za