Boks set 15-point limit for England

Date published: November 11 2014

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Springbok loose forward Duane Vermeulen says his team have set a target of keeping England to under 15 points at Twickenham.

Springbok loose forward Duane Vermeulen says his team have set a target of keeping England to under 15 points at Twickenham.

After a disappointing loss to Ireland last weekend, the success of South Africa’s year-end tour now depends on getting a positive result on Saturday and that starts with a strong defensive effort.

While Ireland made only one clean line-break in Dublin, the Boks made enough mistakes to concede 29 points in Dublin as they out-thought by the home side.

“We want to get a team down to under 13 or 15 points a match and against Ireland we couldn’t do that,” Vermeulen told reporters on Tuesday.

“We have had a hard look at each other and at ourselves, and we know we need to work harder to rectify that for this weekend.

“England have a very good attacking threat, they play good rugby, but hopefully we can keep them down to that 15-point margin.”

Assistant coach John McFarland claimed his side were “well short of the level they showed when beating the All Blacks” a month ago.

Vermeulen admitted that South Africa were guilty of being complacent against Ireland promised a rise in the intensity on Saturday.

“After beating New Zealand you kind of feel like, ‘hey this is where we’re supposed to be’,” said the Stomers number eight.

“You’ve got to pitch up every single weekend. You can’t beat the world No 1 and then think you’re invincible. Hopefully we can come back, play the rugby we want to play and to produce.

“I wasn’t great,” he added.

“It’s nice to learn how you get knocked off your high horse and you’ve got to fight your way back.

“Every single game is a learning curve for each and every single player. There’s always stuff to work on. You always want to be the best.

The Springboks see this game as vital for their World Cup preparations as they travel to the venue of the next year’s play-off games.

“It’s a very important game, what’s in the past is gone and we must work for this weekend,” said Vermeulen.

“Playing at Twickenham, with the local conditions, it’s a chance for some of the newer guys to absorb the atmosphere and the pitch as we work towards the World Cup.

“Hopefully, they can learn from this, get more experience and get comfortable for next year.”

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