While Jacques Nienaber is thrilled with a milestone win against the All Blacks, he knows the Springboks will have to be slicker at the 2023 Rugby World Cup. DYLAN JACK reports.
The Springboks produced one of the most dominant performances in their rivalry with New Zealand to claim a record 28-point victory at a sold-out Twickenham on Friday night.
There was plenty for Nienaber to smile about, as his forward pack fired on all cylinders to steamroll their opponents, while flyhalf Manie Libbok returned to form by slotting all five of his conversions.
“It was the type of Test that we wanted before the World Cup,” the Bok coach said after the match.
“We spoke about it during the week, that Wales bring a certain style to play against and the All Blacks bring something different. They are a little bit quicker, have more continuity and a physical set-piece.
“We got exactly what we wanted. I am very happy with the result and to play like this in front of a whole bunch of South Africans at Twickenham, just to thank them for making the effort.”
Nienaber did temper his satisfaction with a note about the Boks having wasted scoring opportunities.
The world champions got off to a cracking start, forcing the All Blacks to concede six penalties in the opening 10 minutes – four in the red zone and eventually two yellow cards – but only converted this pressure into one try.
“We all know that there’s hard work for us ahead, especially before we go into the World Cup,” said Nienaber.
“In those first 20 minutes, we had seven opportunities that we didn’t use, we were tackled into touch twice and held up over the tryline twice. In a World Cup, where the pressure is greater, you won’t have that many opportunities in a whole Test and you have to use them.
“So we have lots to work on. Thankfully we are going to Corsica and we will have an awesome training camp there, where we will try to fix everything up.”
Photo: Ian Kington / AFP