‘Boks can get back to No 2 quickly’

What NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the Springboks' win over France in Durban.

‘This was a really outstanding performance by the Boks against a team that was vastly strengthened. It was a French team that was very committed and came out to score a try early on.

'What impressed me tremendously was the work rate of every one of the Boks close to the ball. When a tackle was made, the player got back to his feet and in position to help his mates. And if they were in a situation where they could turn the ball over, they did. In the first half, Jan Serfontein, Jean-Luc du Preez, Malcolm Marx, Frans Malherbe and Siya Kolisi all won penalties. That’s five penalties won by different players in one half and just shows how hard they are working for each other.

‘For 20 minutes in that second half when the French had 25 phases, it was quite extraordinary that they didn’t score. They kept on losing the brutal forward battle by going direct. Our defence was outstanding. The Springboks never lost the outside channel. We made 169 tackles to 58 by France and I reckon 100 of our tackles were made in those 20 minutes when we were defending on our own line.

‘The Boks were good on defence and managed to scored four tries. It’s a good turnaround for this team. Things are looking up for the Boks.

‘Serfontein was simply outstanding at inside centre. He organised our defence. Kolisi was absolutely tremendous. He played incredibly well. And also all our replacements made a difference.

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‘We just won two games by scoring 37 points twice in a row and all the players contributed to a good team effort, so why should players concede their jersey to other players just because the series has been won? A player should play himself out of the Springbok jersey with a poor performance. Rotation is the right thing to do at Super Rugby level, because it’s a marathon. A Test is there to be won every week. It’s not a marathon, it’s three games, then there’s a break, followed by the Rugby Championship, then there’s another short break before the end-of-year tour. Winning Test matches is all that matters, so you put your best team on the field every time. When you have one or two injuries, you replace those players, but otherwise you don’t just change for the sake of changing.

‘The backbone of this team has been the Lions players and we play in Johannesburg next weekend. I think it’s fantastic that Lions and Bok captain Warren Whiteley can take his team to his home ground in search of a 3-0 series win. Imagine the confidence we’ll then take into the Rugby Championship. I mean, Scotland are fifth in the rankings at the moment and with these sort of performances we can very quickly get back to No 2 in the world.'

WATCH: Highlights of Springboks vs France (2nd Test)

Photo: Anne Laing/HM Images

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