Boks' confidence not rocked

2011-07-24 13:34

Sydney - Springbok captain John Smit says their 39-20 hammering against Australia is not a blow to their confidence ahead of the World Cup.

World and Tri-Nations champions South Africa take on the All Blacks in Wellington next Saturday, coming off a convincing loss to the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday.

South Africa left 21 injured front-line players at home for their Australasian leg of the Tri-Nations, and paid the price as the rampant Wallabies posted a five tries to two victory.

It was the Springboks' biggest loss in Australia since a similarly weakened team was crushed 49-0 in Brisbane five years ago.

But hooker Smit, South Africa's most-capped Test captain and playing in his 103rd international, saw positives for the Springboks going forward to September's World Cup in New Zealand.

He said Saturday's match had not been a blow to their confidence.

"It's more of an experience for those guys who haven't been out on this arena and just to feel the difference in speed and physicality," he said.

"Every game you lose is a confidence blow, I suppose, but a lot of these guys wouldn't have experienced Test rugby yet, some of them haven't got more than 10 Test caps - if anything it will be invaluable to those guys who haven't been around."

The All Blacks, who swamped Fiji 60-14 in Dunedin on Friday, will be strongly fancied to win their fourth straight Test against the Springboks next Saturday, but that doesn't diminish South Africa's chances of defending their World Cup crown, Smit said.

"I don't think anyone is going to be able to take the favourites' tag from New Zealand, no matter what happens in the Tri-Nations," he said.

"So we have the pressure of arriving there as defending Tri-Nations champions and we have to make sure we are the best prepared as possible.

"We have three more games to go in the Tri-Nations and lots to do and lots to prepare for."

Smit said South Africa paid for lapses in concentration and turning over the ball to the Wallabies, but will learn from the experience allied to the return of their injured big names for their home Tri-Nations Tests next month.

"What I enjoyed about our younger side was that they chased to the death," he said.

"There were tries going begging out there for the Wallabies and there was a lot of guts chasing to make sure it didn't happen, and they are the things we can draw upon. ...

"We'll have to learn from this, let those guys take the experience in and then be pretty harsh on Monday in terms of what we trained for three weeks but didn't quite execute well enough today."

Coach Peter De Villiers expects to have Paris-based lock Gerhard Mostert available for selection for the All Blacks Test as a replacement for Johann Muller, ruled out of the tour with a hamstring strain, while lock Flip van der Merwe has injured ribs.


  • jay - 2011-07-24 13:47

    Great news! The statement translates: we can do better if.... The next game will tell, how this team can "force" their game on to the AB - or the other way around? I am still hopefull for the Web Ellis Trophy to remain in SA hands - forget the Tri-Nations. Maybe the Bokke will come out on top when it counts!

      Bandleader - 2011-07-24 14:29

      Jay, I am always going to support the Boks. Smit says RWC is more important than Tri-Nations, but Smit and PDV are famous for "doing better next time". Same promises, different day; but they failed to do well this time. As for RWC, I think next time may well be the 2015 RWC.

      Jack Turner - 2011-07-24 14:31

      Sorry Jay...This is a dream that unfortunatly wont come true.. We might be lucky to make the Semi's in the R.W.C.Then we face the A/B 's... and then thats the end of your dream.....I want to dream with you, but the reality is, we dont have the material, or the coach..........

      croix - 2011-07-24 15:29

      Smit/ Div sound to me like a guy who jumps off a 44 storey building and every floor he passes, says : "Well, I'm not dead yet........". Most of the players "assured' of their places at RWC are the ones 'jaaging aan'. Steyn, Wynand, Smit, etc - spring to mind.

  • Gavin - 2011-07-24 14:00

    It should be....

  • Jack - 2011-07-24 14:12

    Well, what did we expect, sending boys to do a man's job. Next week will be a slaughter. I am not opposed to the idea of resting players - it worked in 2007. But, with the 'rested' players basically over the hill, and our younger side way out of its depth, I think it is reasonable to say we can write off the 2011 RWC. One thing seems to be sure - the same side cannot win RWC twice in a row (has not happened yet) so hanging on to older players makes no sense at all. The fact that our older players (the 2007 winners) are still basically the best we've got is an indictment of our ability to develop 2nd-tier talent. We have just not cracked the issue of developing a world-class 2nd tier. We saw that in the last end-year tour when our dirt-trackers lost to two english club sides. And now, with what we have seen being served up in the Currie Cup so far, I think it's time for all SA fans to start quaking in their boots. What rubbish the Currie Cup has been so far. Gosh! every province is dishing up pure, unadulterated dross. Defence is a shambles, ball skills are at schoolboy level, player awareness of the on-field situation is poor - I can go on and on. We can't just blame PDV for this one - he is just the front end of a system that is going backwards fast.

      Jack Turner - 2011-07-24 14:26

      Well stated Jack..............

      Rugganut - 2011-07-25 13:00

      OMG dude...calm down to a panic. Are you one of those people that lets their imagination run wild with conspiracy sounds like it. You cant look at what happened on Saturday and come to the conclusion that SA Rugby is in a shambles. On the contrary, I was heartened by periods of play; those 2 tries; keeping the Aussies from scoring less than 40 and some of the players efforts...I would however, like to see some of the replacements that came on in the second half, in the starting 15 this coming Sat. This Bok team has been training together for only 3 weeks; majority have no or little test experience and they played a full strength Assie side that has been playing together for 2 years or more. I agree to some extent that SA Rugby does not have attacking backline flare like the Aussies and AB's seems to be engrained in us from a young age to just crash the ball up (or kick for field position) rather than exploit the spaces and keep the ball alive (Cheetahs union is an exception to this though). I dont agree that Currie Cup is poor...just the opposite. It has been exciting and interesting to see the younger players coming through...who, I might add, are very good.

  • ZACommentator - 2011-07-24 14:22

    FFS Smit retire.

  • Ian - 2011-07-24 14:41

    from word champions to a anc appointed squeeky voice to stuff up sa rugby just like they stuff everything up

      Jack Turner - 2011-07-24 14:45

      Best comment to date Ian...........what a Joke.......

  • jochem - 2011-07-24 14:44

    To all those believing resting players "worked" in 2007, and that it's going to work in 2011, think again. Jake's Boks had the easiest passage to a final in any World Cup so far - the worst scenario was to beat an England side that was probably their worst in years. No Australia, no France, no New Zealand to eliminate before the final. How lucky can you get! And whatever anybody might say, you have to admit that the All Blacks were screwed out of the 2007 competition by that useless English ref, Barnes.

      Thomas - 2011-07-24 23:38

      jochem you brainless idiot!!! New Zealand weren't lucky enough to meet England because they couldn't beat France, AND then Australia and France couldn't beat the worst England side(your view)!! So what you are saying Aus,France were now unlucky to meet England!!! We beat England TWICE and the next best team in the tournament Argentina!!! You idiots who spew all this garbage know "JACK SHIT ABOUT WINNING A WORLD CUP" FOOL! Barnes may have missed a foreward pass, but the ABs had 95% of possesion in the 22 for the last 10 minutes and couldn't think of a drop goal!! This after two WCs were won on drop goals, one against them!! This means they also didn't have the brains to win the WC. I suggest you rather watch "Willie Wallie" you may just be able to understand it!!!!! You better pray the ABs win this WC, because any one els will just be lucky!!!!

      SirPlod - 2011-07-25 01:55

      I agree that SA had a relatively easy path to the final, but as far as England goes, they disposed of Australia and France. Couldn't have been that bad...

  • AirAction - 2011-07-24 14:51

    Confidence not rocked because they had none to start with .

  • Roy - 2011-07-24 15:32

    Dear John.The way you guys played Australia was most disgusting.The only way you will have an excuse for losing the Worl Cup is by having more injuries to players and pleading that this was the reason and also because you had to many Bulls in the side.Not much hope I'm afraid of going all the way.The whole team played very bad and there should be no excuses or "we are learning by our mistakes"

  • RobinHood - 2011-07-24 15:44

    Now I am really worried - not because they were pathetic, but because they still do not get it. The coach feeling sorry for the captain, the captain in denial???

      BardofAvon - 2011-07-24 19:23

      Spot on. The Captain is the coach and the Coach needs the Captain.

      Makutu - 2011-07-25 00:49

      Salaries at stake there... Lots of salaries? At the expense of our viewership.

  • Jackool - 2011-07-24 17:02

    Well, John, it should have, it really should have!

  • Karoobloed - 2011-07-24 19:05

    Delusion at play

  • BardofAvon - 2011-07-24 19:37

    'If you can keep your head, when all those about you a losing theirs..." you don't understand the problem!

  • Shawn - 2011-07-24 21:17

    Will John Smit please retire before the World Cup commences. Then at least we have a chance of defending the WC trophy. We have ample other leaders who are top of their game.....Schalk Burger, Juan Smit or Victor Matfield. We are the laughing stock of world rugby picking a captain who is not even rated in the top 3 (even 4) hookers in SA. He can't even make the starting line up for the Sharks. At international level you need someone who is top of their game and number 1 in their position......

  • Michael - 2011-07-24 23:13

    Just explain to me when did we win the Tri-Nations?! I thought it was in 2009. Not 2010. «World and Tri-Nations champions South Africa take on the All Blacks in Wellington next Saturday, coming off a convincing loss to the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday.»??? Hum?!

  • Carl Muller - 2011-07-25 07:58

    Confident to win or lose... that is the question...........

  • SonOfaPitch - 2011-07-25 09:12

    Maybe your confidence is still intact, john, but mine is not. We don't stand a chance in the WC, lets be honest. I'm not pointing fingers to the coaches or players, but the Wallabies and ABs are simply too strong. We are not the best team in the world. We did not have the best 4 years of preparation. I say, stop the screwing around with 'new blood'. Take your 21 best and use them immediately even if they are at 60%. Forget the world cup, its not going to happen. But we can still get a result in the TN

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