Springbok rugby coach, Allister Coetzee, says there is massive relief in the South African camp following their victory over France in Paris on Saturday night.
The Boks narrowly beat the French 18-17 after leading 8-7 at the break in the second match of their European tour.
The win followed a record defeat against Ireland in Dublin a week ago after which the Boks were heavily criticised for their below-par performance.
The team and their coach were under severe pressure after a crushing defeat against Ireland and losing out to France for the honour of hosting the 2023 World Cup.
The Boks had everything to play for. In the first half they looked promising and right wing, Dylan Leyds got the Boks onto the scoreboard in the 7th minute.
However the South Africans’ tactical kicking was again unimpressive and their weakness under the high ball once again was exposed. France, like Ireland, scored a try after a Bok blunder.
Bok flyhalf, Handré Pollard’s general play was fair but his goal-kicking was poor. He missed four of seven kicks, success rate of just 42% on the night.
South Africa scored in the second half through centre, Jessie Kriel and France in the final minutes also scored courtesy of Baptiste Serin. However the Boks held on for the win, earning praise from their coach for getting the result.
“We always question leadership. Players like a Duane came in and it was crucial for this test today. It was always going to be a dog fight, really a dog fight and the French came out to play,” says Springbok Coach Allister Coetzee. As always, Coetzee remains positive, impressed with the opportunities his players created.
“The game is actually not as difficult as we make it at times and between the ten meter lines, we tend to overplay a bit and again tonight we overplayed there. But credit to the players. They looked good with ball in hand and creating opportunities. Unfortunately, it didn’t stick again, but it’s a good base to work from.”
South Africa next face Italy in Padova on Saturday.