De Villiers refuses to dwell on record triumph
August 17, 2013
South African supporters hold a portrait of former president Nelson Mandela © Getty Images
South Africa captain Jean de Villiers immediately raised the bar after his side romped to a record 73-13 victory over Argentina in their Rugby Championship opener in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The rampant Springboks powered to a record 73-13 victory against the Pumas to sound a warning to their title rivals but De Villiers, who crossed for one of his side's nine tries, refused to dwell on their stunning success and demanded improvement in the return leg in Mendoza next weekend.
He said: "We didn't use all our opportunities and there are definitely things we can work on. The score was good but you have to put it in perspective. There was one intercept and two yellow cards and it will be a different game in a week's time.
"We will enjoy tonight because these nights don't come around too often, but we know we want to improve every week. This may have been a great start for us, and we showed this week what we can do, but there are still things to rectify."
Coach Heyneke Meyer was delighted his side could mark Nelson Mandela Sport & Culture Day with an dazzling show that delighted a 53,000 crowd at the FNB Stadium that had gathered for a feast of sport and music, that also included a fixture between the South Africa football team and Burkino Faso, and to also celebrate the life of the former president.
"The team talk was simple," he said. "I really wanted a special performance; one to make Madiba and our country proud. The outstanding thing for me was that it was a clinical performance.
"There were a lot of soccer fans out there today and I really wanted to show them what rugby is about and to make our nation proud. I said to the guys 'let's go out and show them what we can do'."
De Villiers said: "The Madiba magic worked for us again today. It was a special occasion and we could enjoy it out there."
In contrast, Argentina coach Santiago Phelan and captain Felipe Contepomi were left to reflect in a woefully inadequate performance. "We are very disappointed," said Phelan. "In the first half we didn't take control of the ball, we were under pressure everywhere. In the second half we were broken."
Contepomi, who supplied all of his side's points, admitted to his side's shortcomings. "Last year we struggled a bit, this year we struggled a lot," he said. "It's hard when you take a shot like that. We have to learn, and fast."
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