Springbok pressure paid off – Ricardo Loubscher

FILE PICTURE: Ricardo Loubscher during the South African National rugby team press conference. Picture: Manus van Dyk/Gallo Images

The 28-10 victory over the Wallabies may flatter the Springboks but assistant coach Ricardo Loubscher says the result was just reward for the team’s effort in Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test in Cape Town.

“In the first half we put them under massive pressure, we didn’t get enough rewards and I think that was the difference in the game,” Loubscher said in Johannesburg on Monday.

“In the second half we put them under pressure again and we converted those opportunities.”

The tourists held the advantage for most of the second half but a three-try blitz in the final 10 minutes saw the Springboks claim a comfortable victory over the Australians.

Loubscher said the dry conditions in Cape Town compared to three of their prior four Tests in the Championship allowed the Springboks to play with reckless abandon.

“On Saturday we showed for the first time that conditions allowed us to play a positive game with a ball-in-hand approach,” he said.

“We kept them under pressure, we kept the ball in hand and it eventually showed in the last 10 minutes.

“I thought we had opportunities in the first half to score but we didn’t capitalise on that and at half-time we spoke about being more composed.”

The Springboks face a different challenge in the final match of the competition when they face the All Blacks, who wrapped up the Rugby Championship title with their 34-13 victory over Argentina in La Plata.

“Saturday’s focus will be to get the right balance because you don’t want to kick aimlessly and give them opportunities to counter attack,” Loubscher said ahead of the mammoth Test.

In the corresponding fixture last year, the Boks were still in with a shout to claim the title for the first time since 2009 when they had to score a four-try victory and had to keep the All Blacks from claiming a bonus point.

While the title is no longer up for grabs, the Springboks under coach Heyneke Meyer are yet to score their first victory over the reigning world champions.

Loubscher said the team had to box clever against an All Blacks team that possessed the best tactical kicking game in world rugby.

“You need to get the accuracy right and in the last few games, we weren’t spot on and with the All Blacks it is not just about accuracy of the kicks but about decision making, when is the right time to kick, what type of kick to kick and to make sure you have a good chasing line to force the outcome you want,” he said.


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