Rugby World Cup 2011

Div happy to see Habana back

2011-09-22 18:01
Bryan Habana (Gallo Images)





Albany - Springbok Coach Peter de Villiers was happy to see winger Bryan Habana back on the field after Habana finally became South Africa's all-time leading try-scorer with one of the Springboks' 12 tries in their 87-0 rout of Namibia at the World Cup on Thursday.

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"Bryan brings a lot of energy to the team, he's a bundle of energetic spirit that we need there. I'm happy to give him a run again and see that he's over his injuries," he said.

Habana is now looking forward to South Africa's remaining pool game against the physical Samoans at North Harbour next Friday.

"The Samoa team is determined to knock us over. We are going to have our work cut out for us," he said.

"We have to go to work on all the positives and we have to see where we went wrong and negate those."

"I think if you arrive in New Zealand and you do not have a feeling you can win it and you do not have the belief within the team that you can win it, then you do not deserve to be here."

Habana crossed in the 22nd minute of the Pool D match at North Harbour for his 39th try in 72 matches.

The former IRB World Player of the Year 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.

But the left winger was modest among the post-match accolades and he preferred to concentrate on South Africa's crushing team performance.

"Records are great to get but without my coaching staff and team-mates it would never have been possible," he said.

"When you have try-scorers from one to 22 it makes for a great performance."

Habana showed a clean pair of heels when he swooped on a great cut-out pass from lock Danie Rossouw and sprinted away from the Namibian cover defence.

"We were never concerned as in a game like this there is much more to lose than gain," Habana said of only the Springboks' second match against their largely amateur African neighbours.

"In the first half we struggled with the turnovers and made too many mistakes. In the second half we performed a lot better," he said.

Habana took a few crunching blows during the match, the first time he handled the ball he was shaken by a Jacques Burger tackle in only the fifth minute but showed plenty of resolve to battle on before he was replaced with 20 minutes left.

It was Habana's first match back in the tournament after returning from a knee injury that forced him out of the Springboks' 49-3 win over Fiji in Wellington last Saturday.

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