Boks not perfect, says Div

2011-09-23 07:36

Auckland - Coach Peter de Villiers has shrugged off South Africa's sloppy start and revelled in the defending champions' 12 tries in swamping Namibia at the Rugby World Cup.

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The outcome was never in doubt as the Springboks posted a record 87-0 victory over the largely amateur Namibians with wing Bryan Habana snaring his first Test try in 15 months to become South Africa's all-time leading tryscorer.

While the floodgates were flung opened in the final 20 minutes as Namibia's herculean defensive effort told and seven converted tries inflated the final margin, the Springboks were guilty of missed opportunities in the opening half.

While the game stats make painful reading for the Namibians, the one that stood out was South Africa's 16 handling errors to Namibia's 10, but that didn't concern De Villiers.

Asked if those mistakes could have been punished by a stronger team than 19th-ranked Namibia, De Villiers said:"You are talking about the perfect world, but we're not in a perfect world, we're in New Zealand.

"We actually know that we are playing against the best in the whole world. "We played a brilliant game once we regrouped. We are very proud of the guys, very, very proud. If we had played another team we would have done things differently maybe."

"You can't assume that another team will punish you, maybe we wouldn't have made those mistakes."

Skipper John Smit, who edged past team-mate Victor Matfield to his Springbok record 109th Test, admitted there were a few "question marks" in the first 30 minutes.

"But the boys tightened up and got back into it, so it's important to know that we will get different types of opposition, but each game is equally important.

"It's an easy task to get guys up for a World Cup game, but the difficult part to make sure that we analyse ourselves and be hard on ourselves with our individual stats and where we are heading as a team.

"There'll be bigger tests coming in the future but it was a step," he said.

De Villiers refused to single out Habana for his Springbok try record preferring to keep it within the team context.

"These things don't matter to the team," he said. "Before the World Cup, we said that there will be milestones for players and we will be happy.

"But if their goals don't fit into the team goals, we don't want them in this group. So if we get one or two guys reaching milestones along the way, we will rejoice with them afterwards."

Habana took his record in his stride as he looked ahead to the physically demanding game with Samoa at North Harbour next Friday.

"I think other people were more worried about it than I was," the former IRB World Player of the Year said. "I've said it my whole career, it's always been about the Springbok team.

"It's never been about the number of tries I've been able to score, it's about contributing, and I'm disappointed that I haven't been able to contribute for the last couple of Tests.

"Hopefully, now everyone can stop worrying about it and I can concentrate on playing rugby.

"It's been great, a great honour and privilege to break records and pass someone like Joost. Hopefully, I can keep using my God-given talent to contribute to Springbok rugby."

It was Habana's 39th try in 72 matches and he had gone 11 Tests without scoring before finally claiming Joost van der Westhuizen's previous record of 38 tries in 89 Tests.

Habana's last try was against Italy at Witbank in June last year.

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  • Neutralist - 2011-09-23 07:42

    Crooked line out throws, dropped passes, forward passes. Please don't get complacent Bokke, no matter who you play against.

      Johnny-BB - 2011-09-23 08:15

      ...yip, big deal beating Fiji and Namibia......

      birdman - 2011-09-23 08:52

      It's that terrible ball that's causing all the problems! It knocks on all by itself, falls to the ground before a pass is completed, not to mention its uneven bounce. It has however improved its place-kicking capabilities by scoring 13/13 kicks at posts! Now all the Boks have to do is master its handling perculiarities.

      Makutu - 2011-09-23 09:06

      I think injuries to some old players are shaping the Bok squad as they di at the end of year tour last year. Having too many old players in one team is lethargic and will cost us. Having Butch James (32), Jean De Villiers (30), Victor Matfield (34), Johan Muller (31), Danie Rossouw (33), John Smit, Guthro Steenkamp (30), CJ van der Linde (31) and Bakkies Botha (33) all in one team will not be a good thing. Have at most 4 of these guys and the rest must be the youth. Bring on Juan de Jong (23), Francois Hougaard (23), Patrick Lambie (20), Willem Alberts (27), Francois Louw (25) and others add a very very much needed energy levels to the squad. Victor Matfield and John Smit don't dominate collissions because they do not have leg drives. Can't have both in one team I think. So, bring on the youth. They can take this world cup for us!

      Matt :-) - 2011-09-23 09:50

      Good luck Bokke! Though I'm English so I want England to win... failing that (and that's rather likely), Boks next...

      McDaNife - 2011-09-23 09:55

      Well said Canibus, agree with you need to read through the lines of his comments

  • Brent - 2011-09-23 07:54

    De Villiers said:"You are talking about the perfect world, but we're not in a perfect world, we're in New Zealand.

      Parko - 2011-09-23 08:32


      cj - 2011-09-23 08:47

      Not sure he realised himself what a great chirp that was.

      Canibus - 2011-09-23 08:57

      Your point? PdV is right... We are not in a perfect world were you can just assume that if we play loose against a weak team... we'll play the same against stronger teams. We're in NZ and teams are different.. In order to win the WC you need to plan for different matches. PDV ROCKS!

      Vullis - 2011-09-23 11:37

      @Canibus - you didn't get that line? it's like the first 15 minutes of yesterdays game - too many dropped passes, i hope you catch it soon.

  • Bernard - 2011-09-23 07:56

    If you get a lot of ball in the game then you will make more mistakes than usual (although the missed tackle count is a worry). I did not get the impression the boks were complacent. It almost seemed they were trying too hard in the beginning. It is only Namibia, though, so it was nothing more than a run around in the end.

  • Zeus vdm - 2011-09-23 08:21

    NZ peaked too early again this time around and SA are only starting to peak now, "Bokke for the WC winners again" go Bokke

  • Ivan - 2011-09-23 08:22

    RASSIE For Next Springbok Coach!!!!

      Jaco de Clerck - 2011-09-23 08:38

      Hear Hear !!!!!

      ANC Comrade - 2011-09-23 08:46

      I would rather see Jake White again!

      ANC Comrade - 2011-09-23 08:46

      I would rather see Jake White again!

      Bernard - 2011-09-23 09:11

      If the Boks win the WC I will be happy with Divvy staying on and Rassie assisting him.

      24browser - 2011-09-23 09:46

      Hell NO to rassie! P Div to stay on as Coach till the next world cup thats if he wins the 2011 world cup!! GO BOKKE

  • Pennyformy.. - 2011-09-23 08:24

    When will you ever face reality Div? I hear you've, once again, praised JS for his Captaincy and that he "rallied the troops". Really? He does not lead from the front so he's not being followed! Stop inflating his already over-inflated EGO. It is just about breaking records for JS - not his team. If it was, he would have admitted that Bismarck is number 1 and he is, perhaps number 5. With Bismark playing for 80 minutes the score would have been double this! Pieter, YOU tried to make JS a prop - now you're letting the team play with THREE props - we need an AGILE hooker ... someone who can HUNT the ball together with Brussouw and put the opposition under PRESSURE. NOT someone who hangs about on the fringes and doesn't even gets picked by his own Provincial team. Wake up and smell the roses please! With NO Captain on the field we managed to come from behind against Wales. Our "troops" do not need "rallying", we need Bismarck!

      Theo - 2011-09-23 09:21

      I agree Smit should come on at the tail end , Bismarck is not getting enough time on the field and I'm sure he getting quite depressed.

      visarend - 2011-09-23 09:47

      May I ask you to consider the following ? 1. the team has been selected and are there now . 2. the interest of the team are of paramount importance , and each and every member is accepting that. 3. after the WC , Bismarck will be the next hooker for a number of years 4. playing individuals off against one another , always has been bad news , each each and everyone brings his part , for the good of the whole team . The greatness of any team , in teamsports , lies in the collective , and not the individual brilliance . Please stop barking up the wrong tree .

      24browser - 2011-09-23 10:29

      Bismarck will be used as an impact player whether you like it or NOT! john smit will be wearing the number 2 jumper for the rest of the tournament. DEAL with it!! GO BOKKE ps.bismarck will be our number 1 for many years AFTER this world cup.

      Pennyformy.. - 2011-09-23 10:46

      I know - and it breaks my heart because "many years to come with Bismarck" will not help us to win THIS years WC. This is an extract from an online article that echos my sentiment: Coach Peter de Villiers has become increasingly convoluted in justifying his support for his captain, John Smit, who threatens to pervert his legacy by sheer bloody-mindedness. Bismarck du Plessis is a hungrier, more confrontational player,... a human wrecking ball; Smit is a drowning man clinging to the increasingly tattered shreds of his reputation. The justification for Smit's continued inclusion is that he melds and moulds, unifies and leads. But elite sportsmen are notoriously sensitive to sporting imperfection, and Smit's outstanding leadership abilities are being compromised by his on-field failings. His authority ultimately derives from his ability as a player. When that ability is compromised, so is his natural authority. Timeslive article I am also not convinced that the team completely accepts, or at least agrees with JS starting? And I'll still support them, at all cost, just worried that we won't win... so I'll keep on barking!

  • J.B - 2011-09-23 08:29

    Namibia would get thrashed by at least 50 points by Japan. Seriously no mean feat! Let's get realistic about yesterday's result!

      Byron - 2011-09-23 13:22

      LOL, ignorance is bliss.

  • jacques - 2011-09-23 08:29

    Zeus vdm, what planet are you from? Just because the Boks had 2 easy wins in a row, now all of a sudden NZ has peaked too soon and the Boks are WC winners. Go learn the game and the tactics behind it before running your mouth about it!!!

  • Shakes - 2011-09-23 08:58

    @Johnny-BB yep no big deal NZ beating Tonga and Japan, lets see them choke on a frog leg:)

  • Janco - 2011-09-23 09:05

    The game yesterday was very difficult and frustrating to watch especially the first 50 - 60 minutes. Yes it was against an "inferior" team - which should actually be commended on their defence and heart - but the Bokke lacked fluency and basic ball handling skills despite the 4 tries in the 1st half. Yes I understand that this was a chance to test and build new game plays and combinations but the worrying factor was the amount of basic ball skill errors. If we faced a stronger team, we would have been punished for those mistakes, you don't need to be in a "perfect world" to know that! My point, that I'm trying to make, is that doesn't matter who you face, you always, always try to improve on your basics and try to perfect them, like with the performance against the Fijians, but there also struggled in the first 20 to get going. Despite the before mentioned, at the end it was nice, rounded off last 20 and that is how I expect the Bokke to play every game. Well done Bokke!!!

  • Corms - 2011-09-23 09:26

    Seems the Boks are a long way from perfect according to the Kiwi press. Nawty nawty boys, seems the Jaapie crime wave has visited itself upon the Antipodes.

      Arries - 2011-09-23 10:09

      White van? Thought they used buses? Also the one called himself P Divvy, does not take a neurosurgeon to see a B.S. story

  • iYess... - 2011-09-23 13:44

    As usual the media are making a big thing out of the results, but the Boks have yet to play a strong team. Of course they were going to beat NAM, but the way the media are going on one would think they won the World Cup already.

  • ChrisP - 2011-09-23 13:58

    15 Lambie 14 Petersen 13 Fourie 12 Steyn 11 Hougaard 10 Steyn 9 Du Preez 8 Roussouw 7 Burger 6 Brussouw 5 Matfield 4 Botha 3 Du Plessis 2 Bismarck 1 Steenkamp 22 Aplon 21 De Villiers 20 Pienaar 19 Spies 18 Alberts 17 Beast 16 Smit

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