De Villiers wants more from Boks
September 17, 2011
Springbok fly-half Morne Steyn crashes over during Saturday's clash in Wellington © Getty Images
South Africa may have impressed all and sundry during their 49-3 demolition of Fiji on Saturday but head coach Peter de Villiers was not entirely happy with his side's display in Wellington.
A week after undeservedly scraping past Wales in their Rugby World Cup opener, the Springboks produced a much-improved performance as they racked up tries from Gurthro Steenkamp, Jaque Fourie, Francois Steyn, Morne Steyn, Tendai Mtawarira and Danie Rossouw, while at the same time restricting their opponents to a solitary penalty from Seremaia Bai. De Villiers, though, was not 100 percent satisfied.
"Fiji dominated the first 20 minutes and we missed five or six tackles that gave them momentum in the game," he said. "We can't allow that going forward. We pride ourselves on our defence and it worked pretty well in our favour but we must be ruthless on defence."
By contrast, Springboks skipper John Smit felt that his side had laid the foundations for a convincing win during the opening half.
"We had some work to do and we put in a quality first 40," the veteran hooker said. "It was what we needed and I'm happy to keep a team like Fiji off our try-line.
"It was good to see a few smiles out there, not just after the game had been won but beforehand in the changing room. I could feel the old vibe back where there was an easiness about our pre-match preparation.
"There was a sniff of that even leading up to the match last night and yesterday afternoon and this morning. We've just got to enjoy those experiences and remember that we've got to replicate them every single week."
However, Smit insisted that he would not be getting carried away by one victory, admitting that the Springboks still have much work to do ahead of the knockout stages.
"It was a game we really wanted to do well in against one of the tougher teams in the pool who have shown that they really want to attack so I wouldn't say it's a breakthrough. It's a step in the right direction," he said.
"Certainly it's a good stepping stone for where we need to go. We needed to improve from last week and a lot of guys got some valuable time and other guys put their hands up. Last week we had a couple of guys playing well, this week we had a couple more and hopefully that just keeps progressing."
Meanwhile, Fiji captain Deacon Manu, who had been cautiously optimistic about his side's chances of causing an upset at the Westpac Stadium, admitted that the South Sea Islanders just could not cope with the pace and physicality of the Springboks' play.
"It was a difficult game today and South Africa showed why they are world champions," the front-row said. "They played with intensity for 80 minutes and it was a difficult old time for us."
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