Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett has warned the national team of complacency as the Rugby World Cup looms.
The Springboks defeated Argentina 26-12 in Buenos Aires at the weekend, gaining revenge following their 37-25 loss in Durban the week before.
The Boks finished last in the Rugby Championship following earlier losses to Australia and New Zealand.
Mallett was speaking in the SuperSport studio after Saturday’s game. He said the win was ‘needed big time’ going into the World Cup but warned the Boks of taking their foot off the pedal.
“I think what’s more important is that South Africa does not play well when we don’t have a fire up our backside,” said Mallett.
“If we are not under pressure, the guys don’t play with as much aggression as we saw this time. Going into the third game (of the Rugby Championship), we heard a lot about how well we’d played against Australia, but we lost, how well we played against New Zealand, but we lost.
“It was a complacent team that ran out in Durban and we were thoroughly spanked. What was good this time is that it wasn’t a complacent team, it was a desperate team, and our defence was outstanding.
“I don’t think you can say everything is alright now. I think Ashwin (Willemse) made a good point when he said Argentina is a team capable of beating any team with a one-off performance, and we’re capable of playing badly enough to lose to any team with a one-off performance.
“Going into the World Cup we have to avoid that one-off poor performance we had last weekend because at the last World Cup we could have lost to Wales (in a pool match), and last year we lost against Wales and Ireland (on the end-of-year tour). And against Argentina away we’ve had a couple of close shaves. You don’t often see New Zealand playing three or four poor games in a row.”
The Boks start their 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign against Japan in Brighton.
The other teams competing in South Africa’s pool are Scotland, Samoa and the USA.