Cape Town - Springbok captain Victor Matfield on Friday
called for an improvement in all facets of play for the return match against
Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday evening (21:40 SA time).
The Boks lost to the Pumas in Durban last
weekend and Matfield, who will lead the side at Vélez Sarsfield on Saturday,
said accuracy will be key.
“Most of their players play in the tough
European leagues where they compete for everything and we saw last week that it
will be a long day at the office if we’re not accurate in our execution,” said
“The Pumas deserve a lot of credit for that
performance, but we’re a proud team and we don’t like losing, especially at
home, so we have to make a big step up on Saturday.
“There were some hard words spoken this week
because we let ourselves and our country down, and we want to rectify that
tomorrow. But we know it will be very tough against a very good Argentinean
team, and we need to make sure we improve in all facets of the game, starting
with the scrum and breakdown battle.”
Matfield is one of three Springboks who played
for South Africa against Argentina the last time the two teams met at the same
venue in Buenos Aires. The other two are Schalk Burger and Bryan Habana, while
Juan Martin Hernández and Juan-Manuel Leguizamón are the two Pumas from that
match who are in action again tomorrow. On that occasion, the Boks won 34-23,
with both sides scoring three tries each.
“It’s great to be back here and we like coming
to Argentina,” said Matfield.
“Ultimately though it’s not about me or any
other individuals in the team - we have to ensure that all the players
contribute to the team so that we can put in a good Springbok performance.
“Against Australia and New Zealand we did
enough to win, but we didn’t close out those games. We have to improve on that
as well. But what we’ve seen is that you have to be at 100% against any team in
the top nine in the world, because the margins are small and you can easily be
Matfield also said the criticism of the team
stung in a tough week for the Boks.
“Mr Nelson Mandela once said that sport can
unite a country and we certainly want to make our country proud,” said
“It was great to see the entire country behind
the Boks when we won the World Cup in 2007 and that is our aim again for this
season. We accept full responsibility for what happened on the field last
weekend, but it’s just a pity if the team is used by some as political object
to pull the country down.
“Our goal is to unite the country behind us.”
Tuculet, 14-Santiago Cordero, 13-Matias Moroni, 12-Juan Martin
Hernandez, 11-Juan Imhoff, 10-Nicolas Sanchez, 9-Martin Landajo; 8-Juan
Manuel Leguizamon, 7-Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 6-Tomas Lezana,
5-Tomas Lavanini, 4-Benjamin Macome, 3-Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2-Agustin
Creevy (captain), 1-Marcos Ayerza
Substitutes: 16-Julian Montoya,
17-Lucas Noguera, 18-Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19-Matias Alemanno, 20-Pablo
Matera, 21-Tomas Cubelli, 22-Juan Pablo Socino, 23-Lucas Gonzalez
15 Zane Kirchner, 14
Lwazi Mvovo, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10
Pat Lambie, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Willem Alberts, 6
Heinrich Brussow, 5Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Marcel
van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Trevor Nyakane
Schalk Brits, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Flip van der
Merwe, 20, Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Handre Pollard, 23