Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer declared himself pleased with his team's performance after they defeated a strong World XV 47-13 at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday. The match proved to be ideal preparation for the international season for the Boks as Meyer was able to give his full squad a run-out.
Made to work hard
Despite the big margin of victory, they were made to work hard for the win by a team laden with big names. It was only after the break that the men in green and gold managed to take charge of the contest.
They scored six tries in total and picked up a lot of momentum in the second half of the match after leading only 18-13 at the break.
Meyer, however, warned that the first of two tests against Wales, to be played in Durban on Saturday, will be another big step-up for his team, as the Welsh are a settled team.
'Wales will be well prepared'
"Wales will be well prepared," Meyer said. "They are a quality side with big backs, which will give them go-forward ball. They also played together in the Six Nations, while we are just starting out."
The coach said he was happy with a number of aspects of his team's play and feels they will be much better prepared with another week of training.
"This match was important to us, because we have to play together as a team to become better. I believe we are a very dangerous team when we play with quick ball and that was something that I was unhappy about at the break. I had some harsh words for the players about the penalties conceded in the first half.
"In the second half, we applied ourselves better at the breakdown and we scored some very good tries. To score six, seven tries against a side with the quality of this World XV is very pleasing," he reckoned.
The Springboks departed for Durban on Sunday with no immediate injury concerns.
"There are no injuries, and that is great news for us," said the coach, who had a large number of players unavailable for selection for the World XV match because of injuries.
"We also scored some great tries with a number of them coming from the training fields, so I am happy. We knew it was going to be tough and we came though well."
Springbok captain Victor Matfield, who returned to team for the first time since 2011, said the side's play improved pleasingly as the game progressed.
"In the beginning, we did not execute well, but once we managed to get into their half, we played well," said Matfield. "It was a very good World XV, which gave us a lot of problems in the beginning.
"On a personal level, it was good to be back playing for the Springboks again. It always remains a massive honour."