Rugby Championship

Pieter-Steph: I don't care where I play

2017-10-09 14:00
Pieter-Steph du Toit (Gallo)

Cape Town - In the build-up to Saturday's thrilling Test between the Springboks and the All Blacks at Newlands, there was some concern over the selection of Pieter-Steph du Toit in the South African No 7 jersey. 

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A second-rower by trade, Du Toit had only ever started two Tests on the side of the scrum for the Boks. The first of those came at the 2015 World Cup in England when the Springboks were stunned by Japan and the second was on the end-of-year tour in 2016 where they lost 37-21 to England at Twickenham. 

In that match, Du Toit struggled with his loose forward defensive responsibilities. 

On Saturday against the All Blacks, though, the 25-year-old was superb. 

The Boks may have lost again, but they did so with their heads held high, based largely on a massive effort from their pack. 

Du Toit, Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff and Eben Etzebeth were undoubtedly the standout performers for the hosts. 

Now, as coach Allister Coetzee plots the way forward for his side ahead on November and December's end-of-your tour to Europe, he does so in the knowledge that he has another option at No 7. 

On Saturday, Du Toit made 21 carries - more than any other forward on the park. He also made 10 tackles and enforced a turnover. 

It was Du Toit's aggression and strength, on both defence and attack, that made him so valuable on Saturday. He did not win one lineout for the Boks, proving that he still has a lot to offer when not used as a jumper. 

Coetzee must take credit for backing Du Toit at No 7 in what was a Test for the ages, but the player himself says he doesn't mind where he is used.

"I don’t care where I play," Du Toit told media at Newlands after Saturday's 25-24 loss.

"For this team, it’s quite emotional if you get a start.

"You just want to try and impress the coaches and your team-mates. We’re trying to give our hearts to each other and if we can achieve that, then I think our goal is achieved."

Du Toit added that he was pleased with his all-round performance, but he was clearly hurting that the result didn't go South Africa's way. 

"I felt quite confident, but I guess people are going to still say it wasn’t good enough because we didn’t win the game," he said.

"Luckily we’ve got good coaches that back us, and luckily they know what they’re doing."

South Africa are next in action when they take on Ireland on November 11. 

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