Handré Pollard says that the performance against Italy highlighted the growing spirit in the Springbok camp. JON CARDINELLI in Padua reports.
The Boks thumped Italy 35-6 in Padua on Saturday. While the forwards delivered a match-shaping showing at the set pieces and collisions, it was the Bok flyhalf who was named Man of the Match.
Last week, Pollard was slammed in the wake of a wayward goal-kicking display that included four misses. The Boks scraped home 18-17 but could have won by a more comfortable margin against a poor France side.
On Saturday, Pollard delivered a flawless showing in front of goal and caused the Italian defence all sorts of problems.
Afterwards, Pollard commended his side for adapting to the wet conditions and showing character on defence.
‘We spoke about it early on in the tour, about adapting to conditions. We did that very well here,’ Pollard told SARugbymag. ‘Our forwards laid an unbelievable platform and made it easier for us in the backs to make the decisions.
‘We fought for each other. If we keep fighting like this, we will go places.’
Allister Coetzee didn’t mind singling Pollard out as one of the star performers at the Stadio Euganeo.
‘Polly was really good,’ said the Bok coach. ‘Like I said before, he’s a really physical flyhalf. The wet conditions suited his game because he can take the ball to the line. The opposition couldn’t catch us behind the advantage line.
‘He made a big step up in terms of his goal-kicking. The pieces are falling into place. Confidence is a big thing for a 10 and you can see he’s building that.’
Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP Photo