Meyer praises young guns in 'worst conditions' ever
August 17, 2014
Despite the trying conditions Springbok coach Meyer said he was pleased with his sides performance © Getty Images
Despite being described as some of the "worst conditions" his side have played in, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said he was pleased with a tough 13-6 win over Argentina. Noting that several young players with limited Test experience played in pivotal positions, Meyer was happy with their performances in the testing conditions.
"We had a 20-year old [Handrè Pollard] running play at fly-half and a 21-year old [Lood de Jager] calling the line-outs and they did very well," Meyer said. "We showed a lot of character by keeping them out from our line. They had two great line-out options near our line and our guys kept them out. I am very happy with that."
Scoring the only try in the opening minutes of the match, the Springboks looked ready to set up a dominant performance, but as thunder, hail and heavy rain set in both sides struggled to get any flow to their game and suffered from poor ball handling. Struggling to maintain possession, Meyer said the side was aiming for a more flowing game, but Argentina made it difficult.
"They are not a continuity team, they are a contesting team, so it not always easy to get a flow to your match. We played well for 30 minutes, but we did not get the points to justify that and affected us, as we had our mind set of attacking play. Their kicking game was better than ours tonight, but luckily Willie [le Roux] was excellent."
The only victors over the weekend, the Springboks have moved to the top of the Rugby Championship table after Australia and New Zealand drew in Sydney and Meyer said the Springboks would not let the draw in Sydney affect their game
"The result in Sydney had no impact on our frame of mind or style of play. We want to win all our matches, because then we will be good for winning the Championships. Don't read too much into this match. The new combinations worked well for us.
"The new guys showed the character I expected from them. A lot of the guys are 23 years and younger. I will be happy to keep on winning, even if it is by one point in every match. That is what rugby is all about."
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers lauded his side and said it was possibly the worst conditions he has played in.
"Still, our guys came through nicely," he said. "We could not play the brand we wanted to. We have five matches left to do it. Now we must regroup and do it in Salta. Our execution was poor tonight. We did not expect these conditions, so adapted as best we could. We were looking for five points, but the fact that we got four is still very pleasing."
The Springboks suffered one casualty with Willem Alberts not expected to travel to Argentina due to a hamstring strain. As a result, Golden Lions captain Warren Whiteley has been drafted into the shad for the tour to Argentina.
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