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Ken Borland



Pieter-Steph du Toit & Warren Whiteley Q&As 0

Posted on June 21, 2016 by Ken

 

Pieter-Steph du Toit

 

Q: How did it feel for the Springboks to be booed off the field at halftime?

PSdT: Well the first half was quite a shocker and being booed, well we fully deserved it. But we were 100% better in the second half and we showed what we can do. It’s difficult to describe the feeling when you get booed like that, but it made me a bit angry, I wanted to show that we are not that bad. If you play good rugby, then the crowd gets behind you.

 

Q: What went wrong in the first half?

PSdT: Us players were all on the field, but we just weren’t playing, we had no energy, we all just seemed a bit tired. I do not know why that happened in the first half, I have no explanation at the moment, except that our game plan was to work around the corner and we didn’t do that as the forwards.

 

Q: How did the Springboks manage to pull off such an amazing comeback?

PSdT: Eben Etzebeth and I spoke about it and we never doubted that we could win, and if you believe it then you can do it. There was a mindshift – we knew we had to win, so we had to lift our game to a different level and the changes helped too, a guy like Ruan Combrinck was man of the match after playing just 40 minutes, so that’s quite an effort. We stuck to the game plan more, the forwards came into the game and we cut out the mistakes. We made a lot of errors in the first half, we didn’t keep the ball, and Allister Coetzee and Adriaan Strauss spoke to us about that and said if this was our last Test for South Africa, how would we play? Of course they were upset.

 

 

Warren Whiteley

 

Q: How satisfying was that second-half comeback and how did you pull it off?

WW: We’re delighted with the win and the character we showed. We definitely felt the momentum swing early in the second half and that gave us a chance. We got quick ball and we were hitting the advantage line and so creating space out wide. We managed to keep that width, make holes in the middle and earn the right to go wide. It means a lot because we were extremely disappointed after the first half, but we showed our character in the second half, which is definitely going to be a massive confidence boost.

 

Q: Did you feel extra pressure coming on straight after halftime in front of your home crowd with the Springboks in a hole, and do you think you’ve secured a starting place now?

WW: Every time I step on to the field it’s a privilege and I try to make sure I use every opportunity. I didn’t feel any extra pressure, but I was highly motivated to make a difference. No, I don’t think I can talk about starting places because there are a lot of very talented loose forwards in the squad – Jaco Kriel hasn’t even played a game yet and there’s a guy like Sikhumbuzo Notshe also waiting in the wings.

 

Q: There’s been plenty of talk already about the win being down to all the members of the Lions team you captain who were on the field in the second half … is that why the Springboks won the game?

WW: There’s no way it was the Lions team who won the game, collectively we worked together on the game plan and the style of rugby we wanted to play. The first week together was tough, we did lots of work but lost, and this week was tough too. But slowly and surely we’re getting into our rhythm, we’re still reading and learning about each other. This was only my fifth Test, I’ve never had to link with Damian de Allende before, I’ve never scrummed behind Pieter-Steph du Toit before, so I’m still learning how to play with them.

 

All Blacks expect Boks to play with more width 0

Posted on October 22, 2012 by Ken

 

New Zealand are expecting South Africa to play with more width than in their previous meeting when they clash in a Rugby Championship Test in Soweto on Saturday, assistant coach Ian Foster said on Tuesday.

The All Blacks scraped past the Springboks 21-11 in Dunedin on September 15 with the visitors missing 20 points at goal.

But the South Africans bounced back to form with a morale-boosting 31-8 win over Australia in Pretoria last weekend, scoring five tries.

“They seem to have the intent to play with more width than they did against us in Dunedin and they may chuck a few different things at us on Saturday. We’ll need to assess where the threats are and make the adjustments.

“If you want to play expansive rugby, then there is the risk of errors and we’ve been through that process. It’s not something that comes naturally,” Foster told reporters in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

But the All Blacks are also expecting the Springboks to still bombard them with high kicks on the highveld.

“We still expect high balls and a tough physical battle through the forwards. Some things don’t change,” Foster said.

“We pride ourselves under the high ball, but the Springboks have put us under pressure with it in the past and they punish you if you drop it. Plus it goes a lot higher at altitude! We’ll have to work together as a unit at the back,” fullback Israel Dagg added.

The All Blacks also won in fine style at the weekend, beating Argentina 54-15 in La Plata to clinch the Rugby Championship title, and the world champions said the small details that had been lacking in the campaign thus far seemed to have clicked against the Pumas.

“We were pretty satisfied but the margins are still very small.

The pack definitely stepped up in Argentina and it was great to see the plans finally come together,” hooker Keven Mealamu said.

 



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