Home Sport Duane Vermeulen says ‘there’s room for improvement’ after Springboks take Australia apart

Duane Vermeulen says ‘there’s room for improvement’ after Springboks take Australia apart


Stand-in Springbok captain Duane Vermeulen was happy after they beat the Wallabies on Saturday, but felt there were a few things they need to improve on.

Pieter Steph du Toit celebrates with teammates after scoring a try during the Springboks’ Rugby Championship win over the Wallabies on Saturday. Picture: Gavin Barker, BackpagePix

Pretoria — They left a couple of tries out there, but the Springboks are really happy with the convincing 43-12 win over Australia in the first Rugby Championship test on Saturday in Pretoria.

South Africa scored six tries, and defensively they were outstanding, keeping the Wallabies to two tries — one early in the first half and another at the final whistle — in front of a packed and vociferous Loftus Versfeld.

Stand-in captain Duane Vermeulen was a pleased man after his side thrashed the Wallabies who had no answer for their physicality and attacking play.

“We pride ourselves on our defence and we are happy with that,” Vermeulen said.

“Sometimes you might make a mistake but the reaction from the guys, to come back from that first try of Australia, was just fantastic. We prepared in a way that we can hopefully exploit a weakness. It was fantastic to see how we executed some of our plays.

“But some we also did not execute that well. So, there is room for improvement for us. But the effort and the work rate from the guys was fantastic. A guy like Jean Kleyn who played his first test, he stole a couple of balls. It’s nice to see the guys buying into our plan and executing it.

Vermeulen said he doesn’t know if this was one of the best attacking performances from the Boks, but it was good rugby for the spectators.

Head coach Jacques Nienaber and SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus left Loftus immediately after the win to head to New Zealand, but Mzwandile Stick, who stood in for Nienaber was elated with the performance.

“I’m glad about the manner in which we won the game because we had to fight,” Stick said.

“They scored from a mistake, but you could see our boys still had the energy. They stayed positive and we managed to find our way back. Once again credit to everyone who played today.”


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