Defeat doesn’t bother Div

Keo.co.za brings you the latest from the Springboks’ end-of-year tour.

Defeat doesn’t bother Div – Springbok coach Peter de Villiers says his players were tired and that he doesn’t mind conceding defeat to a Barbarians side packed with international players.

‘The Barbarians side was full of world stars mainly from Australia and New Zealand. There’s no disgrace in losing to a team of that quality at the end of a long, hard season,’ he said.

The Boks played poorly, far worse than the 26-20 scoreline suggests. De Villiers, however, said that there were plenty of positives to emerge from the performance.

‘Today [Saturday] we lost the game but we won a lot in other respects. It wasn’t a Test match but it was a test to see how good we really are with our youngsters and our depth. We are really very happy where we stand.’

De Villiers added that the Boks are well placed ahead of the World Cup next year. He doesn’t feel the shocking showing in the 2010 Tri-Nations and the loss to Scotland are signs of a team in decline.

‘As everyone has seen over the past few weeks on this tour of the Northern Hemisphere, we have many exciting young players coming through who could certainly push for a World Cup place. We still have 10 months to go before the start in New Zealand and so much can happen between now and then. The team is still developing and, hopefully, will improve considerably between now and then.

‘Our victory over England showed what this team is capable of doing when it has to. No one connected with South African rugby has ever doubted the real quality and natural skill and strength we have.’

BaaBaas thrilled with world champ scalp – Barbarians captain Matt Giteau was elated with the win over the Boks, and highlighted the difficulty of coming together just a few days before the game.

‘You don’t have much time to prepare with the Barbarians but we enjoyed it. It’s a tough week because you don’t have time to prepare but our forwards made a lot of yards and as a captain that’s all you can ask.

‘When a national side gets beaten by an invitation team that’s a very important game. It’s got huge relevance,’ he said.