Springboks sweat on skipper after win

Date published: September 26 2015

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South Africa are sweating over the fitness of Jean de Villiers, who will require an X-ray after injuring his jaw against Samoa.

In a hugely-physical encounter, the Springboks won 46-6 to bounce back from their shock loss to Japan and move back top of Pool B.

However it came at a cost with a number of players limping off, including Eben Etzebeth and Damian de Allende, two of their standout players on the day.

De Villiers, who had come in for a lot of criticism this week, also had to come off, and will require an X-ray on a jaw injury, although it was not the same jaw he broke during the Rugby Championship.

"Jean's the only one to have gone for an X-ray. Probably five or six (were injured in total)," said Heyneke Meyer.

"It's his other jaw."

The Springboks were pushed harder than the final scoreline suggested, but were at their formidable best both in defence and in attack, to record a convincing win.

And after what he described as the hardest year of his coaching career, Meyer was delighted to see his team get back on track although he admits there is still a long way to go.

"Probably the toughest year of my career," he added.

"It started before the first game and hasn't stopped yet. How do I feel? We're already focused on the next one. 

"There's no time to enjoy this one although the players probably will. We have to bring the same intensity and the same desire to play for our country. We have to keep our feet on the ground. Scotland is especially going to be tough.

"It's not good enough to have one performance like that. The thing I am proudest of, although we scored six tries, I'm proudest of our defence, not to concede.

"Samoa is a quality side, we were maybe lucky at times but we stuck to the right game plan and they couldn't get go-forward. 

"I'm proud of the way the players put their bodies on the line. That's why there were so many injuries. I'm proudest of the defence."

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