Allister Coetzee believes that the Springbok pack delivered one of its most emphatic performances against Italy. JON CARDINELLI in Padua reports.
The Bok forwards set the platform for a 35-6 win on Saturday. Afterwards, Italy coach Conor O’Shea hailed the Bok showing as ‘incredible’ as he attempted to appease the local press.
That performance may have come at a price, though. Beast Mtawarira sustained a quad injury and was forced to leave the field in the first half.
According to Coetzee, the loosehead prop is not looking good and may be forced to miss the final game of the season against Wales. The severity of the injury and the decision regarding a replacement will be confirmed in the next two days.
Coetzee described the forward showing at the Stadio Euganeo as one of the best witnessed during his two-year tenure.
‘One of the best Springbok forward performances,’ said the Bok coach. ‘The conditions were tough but we did well.
‘I was pleased with the set-piece performance. The lineout was good. Our defence in general was superb.
‘We were under the cosh in those first 10 minutes. The Italians came at us phase after phase. We conceded six points and then no more for the remainder of the game.’
The Boks were outmuscled and outsmarted in wet conditions in Dublin two weeks ago. Coetzee said that the team showed progress in especially challenging weather in Padua on Saturday.
‘Super Rugby is very different to Test rugby. I’m just happy that the team could learn after the recent games against Ireland and France and put together a performance like this against Italy.
‘It was a clinical and composed showing, and I’m proud of the effort.’
Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP Photo