Boks in UK

Jean, Heyneke laud Boks' fight

2012-11-18 09:53
Jean de Villiers (Gallo Images)

Edinburgh - Springbok captain Jean de Villiers says he takes as much pride from his side's backs-to-the-wall second half display against Scotland than in the first period when the visitors dominated throughout.

The Springboks won 21-10, but had to fight off a brave second half fightback from the Scots - who largely dominated the second half.

"A lot was said last week about Scotland scoring three tries against New Zealand, the No 1 team in the world and we managed to keep them out so I think its something that is sustainable and as long as that is there you can see that the team means something to the individuals and for me as a captain that is really pleasing," the Stormers centre said.

Video highlights: Scotland v South Africa

Coach Heyneke Meyer was also happy with the end result, saying he'll take an "ugly" win any day over a defeat.

"All credit to Scotland - they played superbly, but it was great defence by us to keep them out," said Meyer.

One note of concern to Meyer was his misfiring back division which made little inroads on the Scottish defensive lines with both tries coming from hooker Adriaan Strauss.

But that he felt had a lot to do with the rigours of a long season, which will come to an end with the game against England next week.

"Athough we made a lot of mistakes I am still happy with the performance and the character of this team has improved," he said.

"I don't want to use this an excuse but it's been a long year and for a lot of the guys in the second half it just wasn't there."

One more push, he feels, at Twickenham will see the Springboks confirmed as being well into their stride in a period of transition that he was picked out to mastermind.

The South Africans travelled to Europe on the back of a disappointing inaugural Rugby Championship when they finished third out of four behind the rampant All Blacks and Australia and ahead of Argentina.

But Meyer believes his team is on the right track, after notching back-to-back wins over Ireland (16-12) and now Scotland.

"I thought we were in control for most of the first half and just after half time suddenly there was huge swing in the momentum of the game, then we held on but that is how you win trophies and World Cups and the guys will definitely learn from this because we were under huge pressure to keep them out.

"Scotland played really well in the second half and I thought our defence was awesome. This team has to learn and we have to improve."

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