Boks 2012: the Year in Pictures
The Boks had a new coach and a new-look team in 2012, having lost the likes of John Smit, Victor Matfield, Fourie du Preez, Bakkies Botha and Jaque Fourie, so it was never going to be a comfortable year.
- THE YEAR IN PICTURES
Their first task was to take on a touring English side that was in a similar rebuilding phase.
New Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer did the sensible thing by sticking to what he knew and what had earned him success in the past, and had secured him the job now. He picked the most experienced players available, chose a proven leader in Stormers captain Jean de Villiers and selected the sort of players who would be able to implement a game plan that had served him very well as Bulls coach.
The Springboks went on to beat the English 2-0 in the three-test series - although not in convincing fashion - and then took on the next challenge, The Castle Rugby Championship, which featured newcomers Argentina. The Boks started on a winning note but reality kicked in soon after that as they found out how tough it can be to take on Argentina in their own backyard.
After a challenging roadtrip, which didn’t produce any victories, the Boks came back home and smashed the Australians before being outplayed and outmuscled by the world and inaugural Rugby Championship champions, the mighty All Blacks, who showed the home side why they are considered the best team in the world.
The Boks ventured on their end-of-year tour to Europe with one goal in mind: to win all three games. And win they did as they beat Ireland, Scotland and England to wrap up the year on a positive note.
Injuries to key players limited the Springbok success this year but with the return of experienced campaigners and some really exciting up and coming stars, the Springboks will look to build on the success of 2012 and learn from the disappointments of 2012.
To review the Springboks' year in pictures, click on the link below (web and mobi only):
- CLICK HERE FOR THE YEAR IN PICTURES - SPRINGBOKS 2012