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RWC: Springboks ready for rejuvenated England
« on: October 15, 2007, 06:52:47 AM »

Springboks ready for rejuvenated England


Spring in their step: South Africa celebrate after clinching a berth in the world cup final
PARIS, 15 October South Africa proved their prowess on the big stage, capitalising on Argentina's errors to book a date with England in Saturday's world cup final.

Although satisfied with his team's performance, coach Jake White quickly dismissed any notion of complacency within the Springboks camp stemming from their 36-0 whitewash of England in the pool stages.

"It's a world cup final, so it's a lot different. The preliminary matches are irrelevant - it's a whole new ball game next Saturday," said White.


"I think it will be tough. They have a lot of players who were there in 2003, so that's an advantage at the final."


Solid defence


With all four of South Africa's tries coming off the back of strong defence, White was particularly happy with the pressure his team was able to exert.

"I don't think teams ever do everything you want them to, but to be fair it was a pressurised game and at times the pressure showed," he said.

"At times our defence was really solid. I know we missed a couple of tackles but that stat doesn't tell the true story. Our scrum was strong and our line-out was strong."

Use it or lose it


Argentina dominated possession and territory for long periods but were unable to convert that advantage to points, poor handling and line-out technique letting them down.

Coach Marcelo Loffreda acknowledged South Africa's ability to capitalise on his side's 16 handling errors.

"South Africa are a very dangerous team and when they had any spaces, when we made mistakes, like knock-ons or dropping the ball, they would take opportunities and score a try."

The Pumas were hamstrung also by their line-out, which was constantly stolen by the South Africans - eight times, in fact.

Costly mistakes


Loffreda spoke of his pride in the team's performance but said the defeat was not unexpected given the difficult conditions his players face.

"For us this has been something we have been preparing for for some time. We don't have international competitions and for this reason we don't have the same facilities.

"Other teams are accustomed to playing more often. We were beaten by a great team. They were markedly better than us. We were victims of our own mistakes."
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