Springbok coach Allister Coetzee, was pleased with the performance of his squad following their 37-15 win over Argentina at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, but warned that further improvement in key areas will be needed if they want to build momentum in the Rugby Championship.
The Boks scored four tries, with the wing duo of Courtnall Skosan and Raymond Rhule crossing for their first Test tries, while Siya Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit also crossed the whitewash. Elton Jantjies added 17 points with the boot.
South Africa face Argentina again next weekend in Salta and Coetzee said they need to improve on Saturday’s performance if they want to beat the Pumas in their backyard.
“I am very pleased with the win, although it was not a perfect performance,” said Coetzee.
“We did some good things out there, our scrums were outstanding, with Coenie Oosthuizen delivering an exceptional performance, our mauling has improved and once again the bench made a telling difference when called upon.
“But for us to deliver another winning performance, we need to improve in a number of areas, such as tactical kicking and our lineouts.”
Coetzee was pleased with the patience the Springboks showed on attack.
“The Pumas were a tough team to breakdown and a lot of credit must go to the leadership of the team, who stayed patient,” said Coetzee.
“The message at halftime was to stay patient and keep on doing what we were doing. We also needed to play in behind them, they were leaving gaps at the back and I think we exploited that. We managed to create the space and the players backed themselves when that happened.”
The Springbok defence also deserved a mention, the coach insisted: “The Argentineans are very physical, but we were spot-on with our defensive tactics. They attacked us close to the rucks and we were ready for that, with the guys putting in some big tackles and double hits.”
Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth was also pleased with the performance – the Boks’ fourth successive victory this season.
“We wanted to play in their half and we managed to keep them down there and punished their mistakes,” said Etzebeth. “We must try and take some of this momentum into next week’s game. We need to change the mind-set that away matches are tough and try to stay positive.”
Both Etzebeth and Coetzee were full of praise for the support they received, with the official attendance for the Test at 43,513 spectators.
“A lot of credit must be given to supporters here in PE,” said Etzebeth.
“They created a great vibe, not only today but also at our open training sessions during the week. We really appreciated that. The crowd today was awesome, the people was great all week, we really enjoyed it to stay and play here.”
Coetzee indicated that they will stay and train in Port Elizabeth until Tuesday before the squad of 28 players and management start their trek to Salta via Johannesburg, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.
“Most of the work will be done here and hopefully, that will freshen us up for next weekend’s match in Salta,” said Coetzee.