We want a SA fortress - Jean
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers wants his team to establish South Africa as a fortress where touring teams find it difficult to ever record a victory.
Echoing his coach Heyneke Meyer’s sentiments that this team’s goal is to become the best in the world, De Villiers explained that if they were to achieve this goal, they would have to first make South Africa’s stadiums an impenetrable fortress that overseas teams find daunting to say the least.
This is one reason why the Boks are so determined to make it a 2-0 series sweep when they meet England on Saturday at Coca-Cola Park in the second test of the three-test series.
“We definitely want to make it difficult for teams to come and win in South Africa. The SA Baabaas made it a tough game for the English this week and that is how it should be. Our goal is to win every game and while that is much easier said than done, we know what our goal is, and this is the first step in that process -- to win this weekend.”
De Villiers backed the Boks' good record at Coca-Cola Park -- England have last won here in 1972 -- as a good omen but the team will need to ensure it stays that way.
“I think the history of Coca-Cola Park (Ellis Park) is fantastic, and what we achieved there in 1995 was wonderful. It has been good for SA Rugby and our record is good. We’re excited about the game, but we know we need to go out there and play good rugby on Saturday.”
Still a week later and De Villiers is impressed with the improvement at training, where the team last week were still getting used to each other, they now know exactly what needs to be done and will be more prepared when they take the field.
“The main thing for us is to improve from last week. We were happy to get the win in the end, we had butterflies and were nervous, including the coaching staff. Now a week later, we’ve looked at the video and we’ve seen we need to improve a lot on aspects of our game. We weren’t great on Saturday and we need to improve at ruck time and attack the set phase. We want to take an upward step as a team -- that’s the main thing for us, hopefully we can get that right.”
De Villiers said there was a noticeable improvement in training this week.
“It has happened more naturally this week, the passes have been easier. You don’t have to think first before passing. You need to remember everything has changed, the calls and patterns, the plays as well and we needed some time to get used to it. I did feel this week it was more instinctive and when that happens you obviously play easier. Saying that, the English will be up for it even more this weekend.”
The Springboks will be looking to settle the series on Saturday before moving to the final test in Port Elizabeth next weekend.