Cape Town - South Africa ‘A’ coach Johan
Ackermann was pleased with the performance of his team in their 36-28 victory
over the French Barbarians at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Friday
The South Africans held a
slender 22-21 lead at the break in this first ever representative rugby match
played at the iconic venue, where 9 071 spectators were treated to some
excellent tries on Youth Day, which also offered free entry to all spectators under
the age of 18.
A late try by fullback Lwazi
Mvovo sealed the win over the French, who Ackermann admitted, surprised his
team with their commitment on defence.
“They really defended well and
that surprised us,” said Ackermann.
“They are full of capable
players and that was a good experience for our guys. A lot of players have only
played Super Rugby and domestic rugby, so it’s good for them to
experience playing the French.
“Overall, it was a good
exercise and we will be better next Friday when we meet them again at Orlando
Stadium in Soweto, but so will they.”
Ackermann admitted that his
players were a bit rusty, but understood the lack of recent action amongst his
squad contributing to that.
“The guys have not played in a
while and that showed,” said Ackermann.
“But we did well considering
the fact that these were players from different regions getting together, they
had to adapt from different structures into ours. There were one of two
individual stand-outs, but overall we did well and I was very pleased with our
scrums and lineouts.”
South Africa ‘A’ captain, Juan
de Jongh, said the team enjoyed playing at Moses Mabhida Stadium: “There was a
good atmosphere and the crowd actually helped in the end. We came together well
as a squad and next week will be better as we will use the week to get better.”