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Good performance important - JdV

16th August 2013 14:54

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Jean de Villiers South Africa

Jean De Villiers: Expects a physical battle against los Pumas

Boasting a six-match unbeaten run, the Springboks are showing signs of improving, but it is their performance in the Rugby Championship which will forever be remembered.

Bok captain Jean de Villiers knows the importance of hitting the ground running in their Rugby Championship opener against Argentina at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

"It is all well and good to say the right things but it comes down to putting up a good performance on the field," he said.

The statistics from the Boks' last six matches painted an encouraging picture. They had scored 20 tries compared to the six they had conceded.

However, these statistics would mean nothing if they were unable to take this form into the tough four-nations competition.

The Boks opened last year's campaign with a 27-6 victory over Argentina, which they followed up with a nervous 16-16 draw against the South Americans in Mendoza the following week.

De Villiers said the Boks hoped to pay homage to former president Nelson Mandela with a good performance.

The national side would be sharing the same stage as South Africa's national football team,Bafana Bafana, who play Burkina Faso in a friendly match earlier in the day, as part of the Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day.

"Hopefully, we can put up a good performance, get the right result and bring a smile to Madiba's face," De Villiers added.

While the Springboks were in a better place than they were a year ago, they were well aware of the tough challenge which awaited them in the tournament - which also included Australia and New Zealand.

"It is never easy going into the Rugby Championship, but our preparation was definitely easier this time around and we are feeling confident," De Villiers explained.

"The games we played earlier in the year were good, with all the signs that we are going to have a good tournament."

He said los Pumas would be less of an unknown factor than they were a year ago, when they were first introduced into the competition.

"We know what to expect but we also know what we expect of ourselves and the standards we have for this team," said the 32-year-old.

"Coming into the competition last year, they had a point to prove and they definitely showed that they belong in the competition.

"They did well and they were competitive throughout the campaign."

De Villiers said they were preparing for a physical battle, particularly among the forwards and expected a tussle at the breakdowns and scrums.

"They are very physical at the breakdown. They compete for your ball, and that is probably where we let ourselves down last year.

"In the second game in Mendoza, we couldn't manage to get quick ball, although we actually played some good rugby at times in that game.

"We are going to have to be more effective in that area and we've put in hard work in regarding that."

  • South Africa Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 8
Ireland vs South Africa17:00
Saturday , November 15
England vs South Africa14:30
Saturday , November 22
Italy vs South Africa14:30
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
More International Match fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
  • South Africa Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 13
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Saturday , September 6
Australia 24 - 23 South Africa
Saturday , August 23
Argentina 31 - 33 South Africa
Saturday , August 16
South Africa 13 - 6 Argentina
More Rugby Championship results
  • Table
Rugby Championship Table
PosTeamPPts
1New Zealand416
2South Africa410
3Australia410
4Argentina43