The Baby Boks were gracious in defeat after relinquishing their World title to France on Sunday.
The Baby Boks were defeated 24-13 by the French in the final of the IRB U21 World Championship competition on Sunday in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
“They were better than us on the pitch today. We lost against a very good team,” said De Villiers. “They were quicker than us but I think we’ve learnt a lot during this tournament.”
SA captain Chiliboy Ralepelle agreed with his coach. “I think France studied our game very well. They made fewer errors than us and that’s why we lost the match.”
The match was played in front of a full house of French fans at the Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin, which caused De Villiers to remark that the Baby Boks had to play against 13000 people.
The dramatic win gives France their first winners’ medals in the tournament’s history and follows the senior side’s victory over the Springboks in Cape Town on Saturday.
“We made South Africa play in their own half,” said outstanding French flyhalf Lionel Beauxis. “Even if we scored through penalties, the principal was still to win the match. We controlled the ball really well and a lot of the credit for that goes to the forwards.
“It’s very satisfying to beat South Africa. It’s been a long road of hard work which has paid off.â€