Smit lauds gutsy Boks

2011-09-17 13:24

Wellington - South Africa's comprehensive dismantling of a vaunted attacking Fiji side was a "step in the right direction" after a mediocre showing against Wales, according to captain John Smit.

The Sprinboks scrapped to a 17-16 victory over the Welsh in their opening game but rebounded to dispatch Fiji 49-3 on Saturday to keep their path to the defence of their Rugby World Cup crown on target.

"That first 15-20 minutes was pretty brutal," Smit said of a period of the game with the score tied at three points apiece.

"Fiji basically came out there on a mission, but the boys stuck to it and it was good to see how the guys matched fire with fire, and were accurate numbers wise and the decision making was good.

"We started so slowly last week. We'd been talking about how to match aggressive attitude with composure in terms of how you want to play.

"It also helps when you've got a defence like ours, making it difficult for attacking teams and frustrating guys as well."

Not only was that defence solid in that opening 20 minutes, it helped create space for the playmakers and the Springboks themselves turned on the style, spurning the kicking game to open up their hard-running backs.

South Africa eventually scored six tries and kept Fiji to Seremia Bai's lone penalty kick.

"We must be ruthless on defence," said coach Peter de Villiers. "We take pride in our defence.

"It was nice to keep them out. We set ourselves targets and one of the targets was to defend the tryline and we did that with honours today(Saturday)."

But De Villiers said there were a "few things" his side needed to work on, also praising how his side "broke down the ball in front of us with our directness and created out wide our opportunities to score tries".

"We ticked most of the boxes. But the first 20 minutes belonged to Fiji. We missed five or six tackles and gave the momentum to Fiji," he said.

Smit said South Africa had improved vastly on their showing against Wales.

"The intention was to get better every single weekend," the hooker said. "We were aware that we came into the tournament pretty undercooked from a game time points of view so it was good to progress.

"It's a good stepping stone for where we need to go.

"A lot of guys got some valuable time. Some guys really put their hands up. Last week we had a couple of guys playing well, this week we had a couple more and hopefully that will keep progressing.

"Last week I wouldn't have given us a very good mark, but this week we really did control the game both when we had the ball and when we didn't have the ball and we couldn't have said that last week."

He added: "We made sure we played on our own terms," but warned that World Cups were "not won in week two".

"The nice thing about this week is that we got closer to how we prepared," Smit said.

"It was good to see a few smiles out there. You could feel the old vibe back. There was an easiness about the pre-match preparation. You've got to enjoy those experiences.

"We've got to make sure you replicate them every week, take that attitude into every game."


  • BB - 2011-09-17 13:30

    Mooi Bokke. The All Blacks mag nou maar bekommerd wees!

      pistolpete - 2011-09-17 15:50

      And Smit, Morne and Spies shut the mouths of their critics (apart from Smit's knock on). Rossouw was outstanding

      Howzitekse - 2011-09-17 17:30

      Morne was his normal average self. Spies was better than usual, but then he always comes to the fore when we dominate, and goes missing when the going gets tough. FDP had some shockers, and a few good moments.

      Pooh-Bear - 2011-09-17 20:18

      @ Howzitekse, I thought Morne had a really good game. He actually ran with the ball a bit, and even broke the line at times!

      RandomDude - 2011-09-18 03:29

      I had the NZ commentary and J Marshall was impressed with F du Preez's performance and the speed at which he got to the breakdown and cycled the ball . Apparently he handled the ball 172 times before he left the field. They called him one of the best players of the decade . Some key players that haven't played much the past year are starting to find some form .. things are looking up.

  • Ya Beauty! - 2011-09-17 13:35

    Jake White has been quite of late......seeing i am in Canberra next week i might pay him a visit....well done Boks the message has been heard you can do this cup......

  • Joshua Austin - 2011-09-17 13:41

    The fact that the Bokke are not far from a possible third world cup title has my heart racing already!

      grod - 2011-09-17 14:24

      Too early to say just yet cos we have a tough QF against OZ but we sure didnt seem to miss any of the injured Boks..? Go Bokke Go!!!

      StaalBurgher - 2011-09-17 18:55

      Yeah, I wouldn't get ahead of ourselves yet. Long road still ahead. At least we are moving in the correct direction; more balanced use of run and kick. No matter how on form we get the games against Oz and ABs will be 50/50 encounters at best. Still, enough reason to be quietly hopeful.

  • sharkbait - 2011-09-17 13:47

    Would've liked to have seen Lambie take over at flyhalf for the last 15-20 min.. to see him running with Frans Steyn outside him (who had a fantastic game) and also in case Morne gets injured...

      StBad - 2011-09-17 20:32

      I agree, Morne played very well (cracker line break) but there was plenty space in that flyhalf channel at times. Lambie could've had a bit more fun with all that space...

  • Spanker - 2011-09-17 13:47

    A win is a win and well done boys but if they play like that against the Kiwis they dead meat....let's hop they get stronger as they progress through the tournament....

      pants - 2011-09-17 14:30

      Spanker take the "S" out of your name and replace it with "W"......

      Bertus - 2011-09-17 15:02

      What is Wpanker pants?

      Drummerboi - 2011-09-17 16:57

      Guess you didn't see the Irish whipppppp them today? Dont play the Aussies up, they can be beaten, like it was proven today!

  • patrickb - 2011-09-17 13:47

    So far I have been somewhat of a nay-sayer. Today I saw some magic that I have not seen in a while, even John played well. Maybe we can!

      Pooh-Bear - 2011-09-17 20:23

      And I believe that just as you, and many of us are growing in our confidence, so are the players. Were Div & co. doing the right thing after all to get the Boks to peak at the right time?

  • blackfan - 2011-09-17 13:47

    Typical South Africans now they r suddenly the best and r winning the cup. Fidji is still 12 on the IRB ratings. Did you watched real test rugby between Aussies and the Irish? Good stuff!

      patrickb - 2011-09-17 13:57

      We are fickle I will give you that. Also agree that the Aussie/Irish game was great. But there was a lot to be pleased about with the Bokke's performance today. The Fijians may be 12th, but they are a very tough side. It you do not have it together, they will punish you.

      Ya Beauty! - 2011-09-17 13:59

      By your name it shows that you suffer from an inferiority complex get over yourself, what has the Irish v Wallabies game got to do with the Boks game.....idiot....

      Jamal - 2011-09-17 13:59

      Boohoo wanker

      Mr Bee Hind - 2011-09-17 13:59


      bakkebul - 2011-09-17 14:01

      Did you watched?!!! WTF dude - why don't you bugger-off to NZ?.

      burtfred - 2011-09-17 14:24

      South Africa are not "suddenly the best" In case you don't know it, or are in chronic Kiwi denial, the Springboks are currently the World champions. Ask them to show you the World cup - you blokes in NZ haven't seen it for a while so you've forgotten what it looks like.

      pants - 2011-09-17 14:40

      what are you talking about ...... No one has claimed that SA are the best......(idiot). We should not celebrate our victories? Get a life.

      BobbyM - 2011-09-17 14:41

      Is it not the same Fiji side that kicked Aussie ass?

      Ruck'n Punt - 2011-09-17 15:11

      @BobbyM, you are thinking of Samoa and they played against the Ozzy B team.

      Schaun - 2011-09-17 16:07

      im south african and agree, come on boys be honest it was fiji,... only good thing is jaque fourie scored a try by finaly catching and not dropping a ball, stats shows he lost 2 where he average 8, and john smit gained 2meters on attack where he normally play backwards, he still cant put ball in straight and still swet and breath like horse that just ran the july, overall was good to c win but hell some player just dont deserve that gersey no more, put thumbs down on my comment and then u surely behind john smit, aplon, pieterse, de villiers on centre and the has been banana,and u surely would say thumbs up for bismarc, steyn on centre houghaard on wing, smit not even on bench, and banana back in cpt

      Travis - 2011-09-17 17:15

      @ are a total chop, and I put a thumb down to you because you do not have the grace to say that you were wrong. Smit played brilliantly and deserves credit. I am one that was saying he didn't deserve his place, and he thoroughly shoved it down my throat. I thought Odwa was really lucky to be in the side, and he played well. Hougaard is really unlucky not to be starting, but gives his all, no questions, and i respect him for that. Team first. Still worried about Morne Steyn, but I know that he is quality and will come back. F Steyn at 12!!! What a biscuit! JP...great game. Well done boys

      StaalBurgher - 2011-09-17 19:00

      @blackfan - You are retard, or just suck at reading. The vast majority of SA fans know full well we are nowhere close to winning the tournament. We just say that is an improved, the type of improvement that we need to make before we could have any hope of winning. At best we can only hope for a 50/50 shot at beating either Oz or ABs. If you want to see anyone overrating themselves you should see the Irish. They are already imagining winning the title completely ignoring the fact Oz had an off day.

      Pooh-Bear - 2011-09-17 20:29

      @Staalburgher, to be fair though, if we'd just beaten Oz, we'd also think we have a chance of winning the cup! They're the 2nd favourites! I don't think they had an off day as much as they were beaten up front, and really aren't the same without Pocock.

      RandomDude - 2011-09-18 03:40

      You only have to be better than your competition. The AB were outplayed by a team just two spots higher in the ranking in the 2nd half of their match .. and that was at home. Who's looking good at this stage .. NZ haven' played anyone and see my opening statement. Oz looks WEAK .. they had a hard time against Italy in the first half of their game and , well Ireland just knocked them off their pedestal.

  • Phuza - 2011-09-17 14:04

    We're going to need all of this Bok magic to beat Oz (in quarters), NZ (in Semi's) and whoever is left in the finals. Can call ourselfs true world beaters if we win the cup this time! Go Bokke!

      Kleinboet - 2011-09-17 14:29

      We can call ourselves true world beaters already, Phuza. Since we entered the competion it is only the Bokke who could win the Worldcup twice. The two cups before that do not count because we were not their to compete for them. Good defence (thanks to the input of Nienaber) and some magic in the back line (thanks to better team selection by Peter de Villiers, undoubtedly assisted by Rassie Erasmus) made a big difference. We never had to worry about the forwards, who were always good enough to compete against anybody. Now that John Smit has also upped his game - is he getting fit at last? - we should walk over the opposition.

      Mike@CapeT - 2011-09-17 14:33

      Yes, Rassie's influence is definitely there for all to see....with the help of Nienaber.

      slg - 2011-09-17 16:45

      Kleinboet, Australia have also won it twice.

      Pooh-Bear - 2011-09-17 20:32

      @sig, yes Aus have won it twice, but Kleinboet's saying you can't count their 1991 victory because we weren't there. I disagree with that though, because using that reasoning, then we can't claim 2007 since we didn't play Aus or NZ

      RandomDude - 2011-09-18 03:50

      Hmmn no Pooh that's NOT the same reasoning . In 2007 all the Rugby super powers were in the competition . Up until 95 one of the two biggest powers in World Rugby didn't compete AT ALL . If the ABs didn't compete at all in this years competition and we won the WC do you think we could illegitimately call our self the world champs ?

      patrickb - 2011-09-18 08:40

      @Pooh-Bear HUH???? That's got to be the dumbest comment I have read in a while.

  • Lorna - 2011-09-17 14:06

    Thank you guys you have made us proud in every game that u will be playing please remember De Villiers's words that"you carring over 20000 South African hearts with you, we love you guys. Reply to

      burtfred - 2011-09-17 20:01

      Surely more than just 20 000 hearts? That's about the contents of 1000 taxis. More than that drive up Louis Botha Ave. every hour. Anyway, we still love them.

  • Maarten - 2011-09-17 14:14

    As much as I detest JP Petersen I would be the first to congratulate him on a really good game today. Danie Rossouw, take bow boet. You where awesome. Brussouw is worth his weight in gold. And how can anybody still doubt Morne? Good win Bokke! I wore my shirt with pride today. Sorry Fiji, I still think that you guys can make it through to the next round. Just get rid of that no 8 that cannot catch a ball.

  • Jerry - 2011-09-17 14:35

    Poor Fiji

  • Petro - 2011-09-17 14:39

    Go Bokke Go What a great game. I know you can do it every time. Do it again next week and the week after I am behind you even if you loose.

      Buffalo - 2011-09-17 15:20

      Let us hope that the only things `loose' about the Springboks are their flankers and eighth man. :-)

  • Whoa Dude! - 2011-09-17 15:34

    All Blacks beware.

  • Carl Muller - 2011-09-17 16:05

    Much better than what I expected... Congratulations.

  • Pussy - 2011-09-17 17:02

    Lose of FORM is only temporary...but CLASS is permanent...and that is what this Springbok squad has!!! GO BOKKE!!!!

  • Old EagleEye - 2011-09-17 17:04

    ..."Sprinboks scrapped"!

  • Pussy - 2011-09-17 17:10

    Now for the Province 3rd team to teach the Bulls 1st team a rugby lesson...perfect end to the day!!!! PRRRRROOOOOOOOVINCE!!!!!!

      Maarten - 2011-09-17 17:30

      I really hope you are watching the game

  • Mike@CapeT - 2011-09-17 17:50

    Baie mooi Bokke! Gelukkig vir die strukture en rugby intelligensie van die Bulls (die kern van die span) het ons Fidji van die begin af versmoor. Spies se formidabele krag het weer almal in"awe" gehad, hy hol dan met 10 Fidjiane op sy rug! Die bruto krag van Bakkies, Danie en Guthro was ook weer Goue medalje materiaal, en dan ons wedstrydwenners Fourie, Morne en Hougie. En dan's daar Schalk, haai foeitog mense, die p@ephol is totaal uit sy league uit, so dom soos ;n blok Cheddar kaas. JF Baie gemiddeld

      Airline Crew Forum - 2011-09-18 03:30

      ek dink jy is so dom soos 'n blok Cheddar kaas

      BulvanBulle - 2011-09-18 17:32

      @Airline Baie original daar van jou. Baie mooi, hoeveel standards het jy gedop? Toe wees bietjie eerlik hier op die blog

  • Pennyformy.. - 2011-09-17 17:53

    Thought JF/JDV was the right combination but the latter has lost some flair – think he’s got injury concerns in the back of his mind. FS and JF were great together. Hougaard in the team in place of Habana is a no-brainer. Smit … I think all the praise from P-Divvy went to his head … and he is too thick to realise that if Aus/NZ journos write him up it is because they do not want Bismark in the starting 15! Facts: our “fearless inspirational leader” went of while we were behind against Wales and we won WITHOUT him on the field. If you watch his 53 minutes today … always on the fringes, do not commit … 2 good moves in minute 24 and 40 and the third time he featured was when he knocked in the second half. Scrums were decent with him there – Bismark on, 3 tightheads!! Last week and this week there were 2 incidents where he could have dived on a loose ball … but he does not want to get injured because he’s too afraid to let Bismark play 80 minutes! He is arrogant and should demote himself to the bench for the sake of his team and country. I am sure ALL the props will pick Bismark. So would Bullterrier Brussouw because he’ll have another ball hunter with him. So please John Smit – do the right thing – you are just too average to start for the Boks – and it might work in the pool games to give Bismark only 20 minutes, but it will not be enough time to play catch-up in the semis against Aus.

  • Christo - 2011-09-17 19:08

    Ons het die spelers om die beker te wen maar baie belangrik.Hougaard en Bismark moet begin as ons die semi finaal maak.Beste plek vir Hougaard om te begin op skrumskakel.John sal moet terugstaan ter wille van SA se aanslag.Hulle (Bismark en Howgaard) moet soos brussouw volle wedstryd speel.Anders gaan ons dit nie maak nie-Jammer.

  • blackfan - 2011-09-17 19:58

    I dont think that the ABs and Oz will lose much sleep about this Springbok side.Keep on playing Habana, Smith, Spies,Steyn,JP. they r very, very good players, please Mr de Villiers.U r the man!

      RandomDude - 2011-09-18 04:02

      good lord I sure hope you're right that will work for us . However, I fear that won't be the case judging from what the NZ commentators thought about the performance .

  • Proudly SA - 2011-09-17 21:02

    Frans Steyn was a colossus at no 12 and took huge prssure off Morne Steyn and gave brilliant space and distribution to Fourie and JP; Lambie also did very well. I say keep J. de V on bench

  • Christo - 2011-09-17 21:09

    Asseblief John Smith.Ter wille van S.A se aanslag staan terug voor dit te laat is.S.A HET DIE SPELERS OM TE WEN MAAR JY SAL MOET TERUGSTAAN VIR BISMARK.

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