Strauss demands improvement from Boks

Date published: June 17 2016

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Springbok captain Adriaan Strauss has admitted that he took last weekend's defeat to Ireland in Cape Town personally. 

But although the Bulls hooker took the result to heart, he stressed how important it is to move on to improve.

"It was far from an ideal start last weekend, and I really took the loss personally," Strauss told reporters in Johannesburg.

"Everyone deals with it differently, and a loss like that needs to hurt, and it did. But at some stage you have to move on, and we’ve done that from Monday after having a hard look at the game.

"We’ve had a good week, dealt with the issues and now have another chance to put things right,.

Strauss took the loss esspecially hard considering the excitement and ambition to start the new Springbok era on a high.

"Losing on home soil is tough, and especially at the start of a campaign where we had these great expectations, a great group of players, and knew what the public were expecting of us," he added.

"We owed it to ourselves to produce a much better performance, but this is not about vengeance, it’s about meeting our own standards." 

The 30-year-old commented on where his side needed to improve to ensure a much-needed victory this Saturday.

"We need to be smart about how we deal with their rush defence, where they get off the line quickly, and it’s important for us to recognise when to kick into space or when to run," said Strauss.

"We also have be better up front at maul time, that’s one area we pride ourselves on, but they did well to disrupt us there and gained momentum.

"And again, at the breakdown, we gave away a lot of possession with silly mistakes, and they were very effective at turning over or ripping the ball away.

"We’ve also put a lot of emphasis on our ball carrying, that’s formed a massive part of our training sessions. Overall, it’s not only about a mindset shift, but consistently executing better habits."

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