‘Running game was required’

John Smit says it was always the Boks’ plan to play more expansively against the Wallabies in Perth.

The Boks scored just four tries in their three home Tri-Nations matches after basing their game around the boots of Fourie du Preez, Morne Steyn and Frans Steyn. However, on Saturday they scored four tries in 53 minutes to silence the Australian media (who had labelled them ‘boring’ in the build-up) and claim their first bonus point of the competition.

‘We’ve always said that we’ll do what we think is necessary to win and today we needed to run the ball a bit and score some tries,’ said Smit. ‘At half-time [when the Boks led 22-6] we said we needed to hammer in one more nail [to win the game] and that’s what we did.’

Smit said the Boks’ relatively late arrival in Perth had helped his side.

‘We had a short week and you could see the energy of the guys in the first 50 minutes,’ he said. ‘We went into defensive mode in the last 30 minutes, but got the result we wanted.’

The Bok skipper was satisfied with his side’s defensive effort, despite conceding a couple of late tries that gave the scoreline an unreflective look.

‘At half-time we said we needed to give them an extra half a metre, just to be on the safe side of the referee,’ he said. ‘We prepared for this game by smashing each other in Pretoria last Friday, and the guys did well today.’

One area of concern for the visitors was the scrum, with Smit and Beast Mtawarira heavily penalised by New Zealander Bryce Lawrence.

‘We were at sixes and sevens,’ admitted Bok coach Peter de Villiers. ‘We will have to go look at the tape and see if we really were that bad. We were never allowed to attack from a solid platform and did well with the scraps we had.’