Handre Pollard (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Springbok captain Fourie du Preez has heaped praise on his halfback partner Handre Pollard, after the flyhalf produced a solid kicking display in their win over Scotland at the weekend.
Pollard contributed 19 points with the boot and missed only one kick at goal as South Africa beat Scotland 34-16 in Newcastle.
He also slotted a deft drop-goal which made amends moments after he threw an intercept pass which led to Scotland’s try.
The Boks were in control of proceedings, leading 20-6 and attacking inside the Scotland half, before the Bok pivot had his pass intercepted which resulted in a try for wing Tommy Seymour.
Suddenly, with half-an-hour remaining, the Scots were back in the game and within a converted try of the Boks.
But a coolly slotted drop-goal from Pollard a minute later brought his team some relief.
Du Preez described the moments leading up to the drop-goal at the post-match press-conference.
“After that intercept try, we were under pressure again and, between myself and Handre, we just felt if we can get a 10-point gap we could give ourselves a bit of breathing space," said Du Preez.
“It wasn’t actually anything said, it was just a look in the eyes. And I’m just happy that he took it, so huge credit to him, especially after he made the pass for the intercept try.
“After that he, kicked an unbelievable drop goal and penalty. It says a lot about him as a player. He’s still young, but it’s about what you do after those mistakes...”
South Africa’s next game is against the USA at London’s Olympic Park on Wednesday (17:45 SA time). Coach Heyneke Meyer will name his side at 18:00 on Monday.