Springbok flyhalf Andre Pretorius admitted that his 20-point performance against England was more down to instinct than structural planning.
The Bok pivot kicked one conversion, two penalties and four drop goals in South Africaâ€™s 25-14 win over England. If his fifth attempt had gone over, he would have joined Jannie de Beer as the record holder for the most drop goals in Tests, a feat achieved against the Poms at the 1999 World Cup.
â€œIt was just one of those days,â€ Pretorius told keo.co.za. â€œYou canâ€™t plan for things like that; you just have to make a decision based on the situation.â€
Pretorius was widely criticized for his display in the two previous games against Ireland and England, and had Butch James not been sent home due to injury, it could be said that Pretorius had had a disappointing tour.
But with the way things have turned out, Pretorius has gone from villain to hero in the space of seven days. The Lions flyhalf had no problems with being seen as second choice, and was just grateful to get another chance to prove himself.
â€œIt was very unfortunate that Butch was ruled out, but I was eager to get another opportunity after that match against Ireland,â€ he explained. â€œAs for being the fallback guy, Iâ€™m not worried, they can call on me any time to wear that Springbok jersey.â€
Coach Jake White conceded that a midweek fixture ahead of the three Tests would have benefited the Boks significantly, as it would have given them that extra time to adjust to the northern hemisphere conditions. Pretorius was inclined to agree, as the Boks showed how much they had improved at the final game at Twickenham.
â€œIt definitely would have helped,â€ he said. â€œBut we canâ€™t change that now. We have learnt a lot about playing in these conditions on this tour, and the World XV game next Saturday will give us another opportunity to gain valuable experience.â€
By Jon Cardinelli at Twickenham