De Villiers demands better from Boks
August 30, 2012
Jean de Villiers' side battled back for a share of the spoils against Argentina in their most recent Rugby Championship outing © PA Photos
South Africa captain Jean de Villiers has demanded his side to bounce back to top form in the Rugby Championship after escaping with a 16-16 draw in their most recent outing with newcomers Argentina.
The Boks, who opened their campaign with a 27-6 victory over the Pumas in Cape Town, will hope to get their title challenge back on track against Australia in Perth on September 8 but De Villiers is aware to that his side must eliminate the mistakes that punctuated their hard-fought draw in Mendoza.
"We need to learn from our experiences, and we're growing as a team, but you can't keep making the same mistakes," De Villiers told reports following the Boks' open training session at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
"By Saturday next week we will know if we've stepped up or not. We're building as a team. Our discipline needs to improve, our execution, and our set-phases have taken a step backward. We maybe need to improve 40 percent but the margins are very small in Test rugby."
But De Villiers is not dwelling on the errors and insists there were positives in the way that his side battle back from a 13-3 half-time deficit against a fired-up Argentina who were making their home debut in the competition. "We've put that game behind us. Looking at the game again I feel better about it," he said.
"There were actually a lot of positives from the game. We believe we were a better team than how we played on Saturday. Even though there has been a lot of criticism of our attacking play, I thought that was actually quite good. The attack was quite good at times.
"Once you don't live up to expectations, you will be criticised," he said. "It's about the way you handle it. We have to be honest with each other and take it on the chin and believe in what we're doing. You can't take everyone's opinion to heart.
"It's a new coach trying to get a message and gameplan across to the team. We will all stand up for what we believe in. We believe in the coach and what we're doing is right."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape