De Villiers looks for positives

Under-fire Springbok head coach Peter de Villiers is determined to focus on the positives ahead of this weekend's crucial Tri Nations clash with Australia in Durban. [more]

De Villiers looks for positives

Under-fire Springbok head coach Peter de Villiers is determined to focus on the positives ahead of this weekend’s crucial Tri Nations clash with Australia in Durban.

The World Champions slipped to their third defeat in four Tri Nations encounters when they suffered a 19-0 reverse at the hands of New Zealand last Saturday, but de Villiers saw enough good to keep him confident in the lead up to the first of two back-to-back matches against the Wallabies. 

“I thought that although, we made many unforced errors, the scoreboard was not a true reflection of the match,” said de Villiers.

“We created many chances but were unfortunately led down by our finishing. I would rather want to refer to two aspects of our game which I thought went extremely well. 

“I thought that our scrums went particularly well and it is one of the areas that we will look at to keep on improving. The tight five really played their part and we are looking forward to another good performance in this department against the Wallabies. “

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De Villiers also praised the contribution of second row Andries Bekker, who replaced the injured Bakkies Botha against the All Blacks after the imposing Botha was ruled out for the remainder of the tournament.

“Andries Bekker had a good match and he is a big lad with a big heart and a good future ahead of him if he continues with the sort of improvement he has been showing since June. It is never easy to lose a player of Bakkies Botha’s caliber, but we are very fortunate to be able to call on a player like Andries.” 

Despite his determination to accentuate the positives and not be overcome by the widespread criticism, de Villiers knows his side will have to improve significantly if they are to stop Robbie Deans and his side from taking another step towards Tri Nations glory.

“The players and management had a hard and honest discussion after the New Zealand match and we know how much a victory would mean for the supporters.

“We are determined to build on the good we achieved this year and eager to eliminate the mistakes we made. 

“I want to assure all the supporters that we value all their encouragements and messages of support. Our players are all passionate and proud of their responsibilities as Springboks and I hope that the Test in Durban will deliver another good contest and also a much better performance than last week. “

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