Defence and physicality are key to the Springbok power game and both elements played their part in the team’s rousing victory over Australia in Port Elizabeth‚ Bok loose forward Pieter-Steph du Toit said.
Thanks to his towering display‚ Du Toit was named man of the match after the Boks' earned a hard-earned 23-12 win over the Wallabies at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
“The Boks pride themselves on their defence‚” Du Toit said.
"This is specially true now with the South African team trying to get that physicality back and to put the opposition on the back foot.
“We want this to impact on our game and hopefully we will get it right in the next few matches as well.
“After the game I ask myself why I made so many tackles. It is actually a happy pain and it is more worth it when we get the win. So I cannot complain about that.”
Du Toit said he is enjoying his role of playing in the No 7 jersey during the Rugby Championship.
“Wearing the No 7 jersey was new to me at the beginning of the season‚" he said.
"But luckily I have been playing a few good games there and the coaches are backing me. They are making my job easy as are the pack around me.
“The Boks have a simple plan and we are just trying to execute it and we are playing well at the moment.”
The tough-tackling loose forward‚ says the Boks will have to up their game when they play the All Blacks in Pretoria on Saturday.
“We are going to have to fix a few things before our home game against New Zealand. We did not play well against Australia. The Boks made a few mistakes in the exit zone and we did not finish off well.
“The All Blacks are going to come with everything they have got. We beat them there so they will try and prove a point in Pretoria.
“But we also have a point to prove. We beat them in Wellington and now we have shown we are capable of beating them in South Africa. We are letting ourselves down by not converting chances.
“We need to execute that stuff better‚ and if we do that we can put a bigger score over the opposition.
“It was a strange game against Australia. We started well‚ which we have not always done‚ with quick tries. But towards the end we struggled to exit and we made some mistakes.
“This team always plan to play with good intensity and we have to work some more on our consistency. If we can get that right we will be better.
“We have worked a lot on our tackle-defence with Jacques Nienaber and he is a great defence coach. Working with him has helped me a lot‚ especially with my technique.
“With the rules changing everything needs to be low tackles and cannot be high. We are trying to improve our game all the time.”
Thanks to early tries from wing Aphiwe Dyantyi and scrumhalf Faf de Klerk‚ the Boks raced into an early 14-0 lead over the Wallabies.
The Australians‚ however‚ clawed their way back into the game via tries from Reece Hodge and Will Genia to leave South Africa with a 20-12 advantage at the break.
South Africa 23: Tries: Aphiwe Dyantyi‚ Faf de Klerk. Conversions: Handre Pollard (2). Penalties: Handre Pollard (3).
Australia 12: Tries: Reece Hodge‚ Will Genia. Conversion: Matt Toomua.