Aphiwe Dyantyi says his primary focus is to ensure he contributes to the Springboks’ winning culture in any way possible, writes CRAIG LEWIS in Durban.
Dyantyi walked away with the Man of the Match award after producing another standout performance in the Springboks’ 34-21 win over Argentina in Saturday’s Rugby Championship opener.
Besides scoring two tries, Dyantyi racked up 35m from nine carries, beat three defenders and also completed six tackles.
The talented Lions star had in fact looked set to complete a hat-trick of tries when he received the ball out wide with the tryline at his mercy soon after securing his brace. Instead, Dyantyi unselfishly fed the ball to Makazole Mapimpi to score.
When the young wing fronted up to the media after Saturday’s Test, he was asked about that decision to pass rather than wrap up a hat-trick of tries, but looked rather perplexed by such a line of questioning.
‘I just felt he [Mapimpi] was in a better position to score, so I gave him the ball,’ he stated matter-of-factly. ‘For me, the most important thing is for us to get the result as a team; I mean, it doesn’t help if I score 50 tries and we lose the game.
‘If I score just a couple of tries in 20 games, but we win all of them, then that’s more important than me being the top try-scorer.’
It was this kind of response that speaks volumes about the maturity of the 23-year-old, who has taken to Test rugby with the sort of assured confidence that belies his tender age.
Dyantyi suggested that the current team environment was conducive for individuals to thrive.
‘We’re building as a team and collective, and with the senior guys around me, they’re constantly motivating me to keep improving myself, and I’ve also tried to take responsibility to improve on my game to try to complement those around me.
‘I think the guys are gelling really well considering that we’ve only played a few Tests together under coach Rassie [Erasmus], and I think every day we just keep on building and getting better.’