Lessons learned by Boks

Assistant coaches John McFarland and Ricardo Loubscher have hailed the Springboks’ response against Argentina in Buenos Aires, writes CRAIG LEWIS.

The Boks came under fire after suffering a first-ever defeat to the Pumas in Durban on 8 August, but they produced a vastly improved performance to emphatically reverse that result in the Argentine capital a week later.

Chatting to the media in Durban on Monday, Loubscher said the squad had now regathered with excitement and energy.

‘In terms of the response [in Buenos Aires], it was exactly what we wanted, we really showed the right attitude in the way we played… We’d spoken about what it means to play for this team and doing the Bok jersey justice, so it was very nice to come back with the win.’

Loubscher said they had learned a lesson in how to adapt to conditions and refereeing interpretations after the defeat in Durban.

‘Credit to Argentina in that first Test, they put us under pressure and used their opportunities, while we conceded soft tries. We learned from that and we were much improved in the second game… We took the initiative and took the game to them.’

As defence coach, McFarland said he had been particularly pleased by the effort in that regard, with the Boks managing to keep Argentina tryless.

‘We really defended well in Argentina, we were physical and dominant. The nice thing was all those elements you can’t measure, like kick pressure, which were very good. The guys really put their hands up.’

Having said that, McFarland also insisted the team would still retain the intention to play the situation as they saw it at the World Cup.

‘There is still an attacking mindset to play with ball in hand, we maybe felt that we were a bit loose in our approach against Argentina in Durban, and we also paid for going into that game with tired legs… But if you’ve got the backs we’ve got then you want to use them, we still want to play a total all-round game.

‘If you don’t attack you’re not going to get penalties, and if you don’t attack through your defence, then you’re not going to get the turnovers you need to succeed.’

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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