London – The perfectionist in Heyneke Meyer is still seeking to tighten a few loose bolts in the presently near-purring Springbok engine at the World Cup.
It is probably just one extra reason why he has bucked expectation from both punters and public by sticking overwhelmingly to his senior personnel for the start of their World Cup Pool B final match against the United States at the Olympic Stadium here tomorrow -- he wants those established first-teamers to inch closer toward 100 percent efficiency for the intended knockout campaign.
“Hopefully we can still (move things up a notch) in all areas,” he said at a media briefing ahead of the fixture which will clinch onward passage to the quarter-finals if the Boks win.
“I feel lately that our scrummaging has been really good; where we struggled in that area with penalties around the beginning of the Test year, we’ve been much better. Looking at the USA, they have a really good scrummaging pack.
“I think also that even without Victor and senior guys, our lineouts have been going well. We got up to 100 percent in the previous game against Samoa, and against Scotland it was almost there.
“We are also (making strides) in our execution in what I call the gold zone, the scoring zone of the (rival) 22 ... though there again there have slight concentration lapses; you always want the perfect game.
“But I wasn’t too happy with our tactical kicking (at Newcastle) ... our exits from our own area weren’t good enough.
“Breakdown-wise, we really improved, though our discipline at this stage is still an issue. We are still conceding fewer than most other teams, but we much look at our own penalties – ideally you don’t want to give away any, and a number of ours have been silly penalties.
“You can’t afford that in top-class games; it’s three points.”
*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing. Rob is attending the Bok pool phase of RWC 2015 to provide news and analysis for Sport24 readers.