Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | Springboks

England a defining test for Boks



Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is approaching the final test of the end-of-year-tour against England at Twickenham as the defining match of the 2012 campaign.

Not for the first time in recent Bok history, the South Africans have arrived in the England capital with the final match of the year set to define whether or not the year will be remembered as a success or a failure.

In 2008 the record 42-6 victory scored by Peter de Villiers’s team salvaged his first year in charge, and in 2010 a similarly emphatic result salvaged a tour that had gone off track with a defeat to Scotland the previous week.

“This is a very important game for us as a win will bring an interesting perspective to the season,” said Meyer.

“Winning every game on this tour was one of our goals when we set out. We haven’t completed unbeaten tours over here for a while now (the last time it happened was 2008), and if you look at the whole year and put it in perspective, if we beat England at Twickenham we would have ended with just three defeats in the whole season.

“For a young team that has had a lot of change since the World Cup a year ago, that would not be a bad record at all and would be an indication that we are moving in the right direction.

"The 2009 year was supposed to be one of the most successful ever for Springbok rugby, and yet if you look back at the record from that season, you will note that they actually lost four games.

“Saturday’s will be a very tough game, we obviously have a lot of respect for England, and it is also the end of a long year. But if we get through it with a win, then I think this has been a good year.”

This video is not available in your region

Of course what Meyer doesn’t mention is that his team was held to three draws this year, which means that his actual success rate if the Boks win on Saturday still won’t be up with the best, as that is based on matches won.

For many South Africans, draws to Argentina in Mendoza and England in Port Elizabeth were like defeats.

But nonetheless, he is right in saying that his record doesn’t compare unfavourably to other Bok coaches in their first year, and his is a developing team rather than the world champion squad that started the Peter de Villiers era in 2008.

“If you look at the number of changes we will have at Twickenham in comparison to when we last played England back home in South Africa in June, you realise how much change there has been this year,” said Meyer.

“We had a number of changes then brought about players retiring or going overseas following the World Cup, but at least then we still had players like Bismarck du Plessis, Frans Steyn, Beast Mtawarira and Bryan Habana,” said Meyer.

“When I look at the team that played in June, it feels like many years ago, not just a matter of a few months. But the players that have come through since then, and the growth we have undergone as a team, suggests we are moving forward and I am happy with that.

"I just think it is important to finish off with a win so that it can show the progress that has been made.”

Shop

The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R157.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R114.00
South Africa XV Ball
South Africa XV Ball Now: R119 Was: R200 Format:Sport EquipmentProduct type:SportDelivery:Dispatched within 24 hours (1 working day) This fan ball...
R119.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk



Kyle Brown
Fans, fun and Sevens success
The week leading up to the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens was a special one. The fans were passionate,...

Brendan Venter
Boks must think outside the box
Springbok supporters have every right to feel disenchanted after an underwhelming end-of-year tour.

Tony Johnson
Boks and Wallabies burnt in final outings
Playing the last test of the year in the last week of November has again proven to be a stumbling...

Gavin Rich
Boks learned quite a lot actually
When SuperSport returned from the Millennium Stadium to the studio discussion, it was mentioned...