Lessons were learned – Meyer

Date published: August 25 2013

Heyneke Meyer concedes that the Springboks were not at their best when they beat Argentina but that the performance was of great value.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer concedes that his team were not at their best when they beat Argentina 22-17 on Saturday but that the performance was of great value.

Having thumped the Pumas 73-13 a week earlier, the Springboks were on a high heading to Mendoza, but were well aware that they would not have matters their own way. This proved to be the case as the home side's physical and aggressive approach prevented the South Africans from finding their stride.

However, second half penalties from Morne Steyn saw Meyer's men overcome a 13-17 first half deficit to claim their first away win since the inception of the Rugby Championship.

The match was a titanic struggle and while acknowledging that the Springboks need to up their game, Meyer admits that the result is the most important factor.

“I will never complain about a victory, but the truth is we were not good today,” he said after the match.

“It took a lot of guts and character to win here and for that I'm proud of the players. However, we all realise we will have to improve a lot if we're going to be competitive in Brisbane and Auckland.

“We always knew this was going to be a very tough match and that the Pumas were going to be a different opponent here than they were back in Soccer City. We learnt some very valuable lessons from this match.

“We will keep our feet on the ground and our heads down and continue to work hard in the next few weeks.”

Skipper Jean de Villiers echoed the sentiments of his coach, suggesting that team's ability to eek out a result showed progress from last year when they could only manage a draw against the same opposition.

“It was very tough out there,” he said. “A year ago we drew this game but today we won. Although the performance was not up to the standards we set ourselves, we're happy with the four points we got here.”