Cape Town - The
Springboks could have beaten Australia far more comfortably if they had taken
their chances, said Rassie Erasmus, Director of Rugby, following a 23-12
victory over the Wallabies at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth
As it happened: Springboks v Wallabies
Africa scored two tries by Aphiwe Dyantyi and Faf de Klerk in the opening 21
minutes of the Rugby Championship and Handré Pollard added two
conversions and three penalty goals, but Erasmus rued other missed openings.
think tonight we created more chances than we did against New Zealand and if we
had converted some of those the game would have gone very differently,” said
we’d taken them we could have given them a hiding. In the past couple of months
when we made changes, we lost matches so to make eight changes and beat
Australia is something to celebrate and before we start to look at where we
need to improve, we should probably enjoy the victory.”
picked out the improving defence and the character of the team as two other
features of the victory.
scored all their points in a three-minute burst just before the half hour but
were kept scoreless for the final 50 minutes, despite the Springboks having
Dyantyi sent to the sin bin for a professional foul at the breakdown with 15
the second half we didn’t play well but we showed a lot of character once
again,” said Erasmus.
I think the guys are getting the hang of the defensive system but it’s not
something that you can get right through talking about it or on the training
ground. It’s something you have to make mistakes trying, and learn from those
captain Siya Kolisi thanked the Port Elizabeth crowd of 41 332 as well as the
people of the Eastern Cape for their support in a match that was dedicated to
the memory of former president Nelson Mandela as part of the centenary
celebrations of his birth.
people of the Eastern Cape love rugby and you just had to see our open training
sessions to know what it meant to them,” said Kolisi.
“They have a passion for
the game here and we could feel that out on the field.”
win maintained the Springboks’ second position on the Castle Lager Rugby
Championship log, two points adrift of New Zealand who were playing Argentina
in a later match in Buenos Aires.
Wallabies now head for Argentina with their coach, Michael Cheika, also blaming
missed chances for the defeat, but conceding there were areas in which they
didn’t manage the physical contest, but we still managed to create opportunities.
But we just didn’t take them,” Cheika said.
Africa complete their Rugby Championship campaign against New
Zealand in Pretoria on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 17:05.