Springboks believe ‘ground out’ win will help at the Rugby World Cup

Jacques Nienaber Springbok head coach 2023 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

Jacques Nienaber Springbok head coach 2023 – PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber was pleased that his team could find a way to hold onto their 22-21 win over Argentina, despite not having put in their best showing in Johannesburg.

The clash failed to gather momentum after two lengthy waits due to head injuries to Grant Williams and Lucas Paulos in the opening half.

The hosts were certainly not at their best as Argentina pushed themselves back into contention during the second half and could have stolen the clash if they did not miss two kicks at goal.

Leadership showed

Damian de Allende’s late yellow card gave Argentina the platform to press for the victory but South Africa held out to prevail, with Nienaber crediting Duane Vermeuelen’s leadership during the final moments of the Test.

“We’re going to experience similar situations at the World Cup and to manage it in the way that Duane [Vermeulen] did at the end with the yellow card was very good,” said Nienaber.

“You have to grind it out at a World Cup, especially when you look at how close the teams are currently. The World Cup will be incredibly close and you can be in a situation where you can go into shellshock.

“The amount of attitude the players had in defence was outstanding; the amount of attitude they had in their ball carrying was outstanding. We made a couple of mistakes with tactical and technical stuff but that the easy stuff we can fix.

“But making it personal with the defence and the ball carrying is what I was incredibly proud of. Tonight wasn’t the greatest performance, but it was good to grind out the win.”


Nienaber is going to make more changes for the clash against Argentina in Buenos Aires next week to spread the load. He admitted the performances of the team have suffered because of the dynamic selection policy he has used but claims the team will be more consistent heading into the World Cup.

“The easiest way to get cohesiveness is in team selection and that’s probably where we put the team under pressure,” he said.

“Every week they’ve had a different prop, a different hooker, a different rhythm so that’s almost the nice thing, as we take them out their rhythm because of the way we have chopped and changed in terms of team selection, and as we get closer to the World Cup there will definitely be more consistency in selection.

“On Tuesday we said if we can get a victory tonight it would be nice to make some changes,” he added. “The main things for us, is to spread the load and make sure that we are match fit and match ready and everyone has had some minutes and been under pressure before we leave for the World Cup.

“We said from the outset that Argentina are tough team and they proved that today. That said, I am pleased with the way the players ground out the result.”

READ MORE: All Blacks ‘not satisfied’ and want more than the Bledisloe Cup

The article Springboks believe ‘ground out’ win will help at the Rugby World Cup appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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