Padova - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer and national
captain Jean de Villiers both lauded the performance by South Africa in their
22-6 (8-6 at half-time) victory over Italy in Padova on Saturday afternoon.
The Springboks scored three tries to nil, with
Coenie Oosthuizen, Cobus Reinach and Bryan Habana crossing the Italians’
try-line. Pat Lambie added a penalty goal to lift him to 100 Test points and
Handré Pollard slotted two conversions.
It was the first time since June 2008 that the
Springboks had managed to keep Italy from scoring a try and the first time ever
the Azzurri failed to cross the South African try-line in a Test in front of
their home fans.
“I’m very happy with the result and fact that
we didn’t concede any tries and no points in the second half,” said Meyer.
“I’ll always prefer a try-count of 3-0 instead of 5-3.”
The Springbok coach was also full of praise for
a number of lesser experienced players who started at the Stadio Euganeo, in
Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen and Johan Goosen, as well as the two Test
debutants, Nizaam Carr and Julian Redelinghuys.
“I’m very proud of the way in which they came
through, especially in the scrums, where Trevor, in his first start, Coenie and
Julian were part of a dominant performance against a very good Italian scrum,”
“The same goes for Johan, playing at fullback in a Test for the first
time, while I thought Nizaam made a big impact when he came on – he had a
massive hand in Cobus’ try which was great to see.
“It was always going to be a scrappy affair and it’s never easy playing
away from home against a very passionate Italian side. The Italians had a
proper go and they deserve a lot of credit for their performance. But our guys
stuck to their guns and pulled it through when it mattered most.”