Cape Town - Legendary former Wallaby winger David Campese does not foresee the Springboks getting to the level of the All Blacks any time soon.
The Springboks were thrashed 57-0 by the All Blacks in Albany last month, before almost turning the tables at Newlands last weekend when they lost narrowly, 25-24.
In an exclusive interview with Sport24, Campese acknowledged South Africa’s improved performance but does not believe the Kiwis performed at optimum level.
“I agree South Africa played well in Cape Town and pushed New Zealand close, having been hammered 57-0 in Albany. Two great teams played a Test match that people are still talking about and I’m hoping to see that all the time. However, for me, the All Blacks didn’t play to their full potential, went through the motions and still won the game. At Test level, it doesn’t matter if you win by one point or 50 - a win is a win. The All Blacks must be applauded for getting the job done and ending the Rugby Championship undefeated,” Campese said.
Campese though feels it will be tough for the Springboks to get to the level of the All Blacks and gave his reasons.
“Since the home defeat to the All Blacks, the Boks have slipped to fifth in the world rankings and I don’t think they’re going to get any better. The bottom line is there are too many players plying their trade overseas and are earning so much money that they’re not interested in playing in South Africa.”
Campese was also not impressed by what he saw of some of the Springbok backline players.
“In Elton Jantjies, the Springboks boast a flyhalf who is a flair player and has got a good vision for the game. However, they have an inside and outside centre, who can’t pass the ball. The Springboks possess players that can finish (South Africa scored 17 tries during the Rugby Championship), but they don’t get the ball often enough. Yes, the Boks are effective hit-up merchants, they can take the ball up and get over the gain-line, but under pressure I feel that they can’t do anything else,” Campese said.
“Talking to people in the know, I believe Jan Serfontein and Jesse Kriel were fantastic schoolboy players, but just look at them now - the two midfielders have been moulded into nothing more than battering rams and they can neither see nor create opportunities. I think the problem within SA rugby is that no one is passing on knowledge.”
Campese, 54, played 101 Tests for Australia between 1982 and 1996.
CLICK HERE to read his full interview with Sport24