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While many Springboks will have been disappointed after Saturday’s draw with Argentina, a new door opened for Western Province hooker Tiaan Liebenberg, who made his Test debut.
It may have lasted all of five minutes after Liebenberg replaced Adriaan Strauss while the game was on a knife edge, but he is optimistic there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Hopefully that light is not the one of an oncoming train to flatten the Boks, as their performance will have left the Wallabies excited at the prospect of gaining their first victory of the competition when they play the Boks in Perth on September 8.
“It’s not the greatest feeling in the world, it’s a draw,” said Liebenberg.
“Both sides played well but the result didn’t go our way. The fact that we let ourselves down is the truth.”
The Springboks will have to improve tenfold if they are to beat the Wallabies, while a heavy and embarrassing defeat at the hands of the All Blacks is looking like a certainty.
The Springboks were soundly beaten in the battle of the breakdown by a Pumas side that overwhelmed them with aggression and the number of bodies committed to the rucks.
The consensus was unanimous in the Springbok team that the lost battles in the rucks are increasingly preventing the team from making any progress.
“The result didn’t go our way and we need to work harder to see it happen the next time we go out and play. We didn’t play well and we know it. The next step is for us to work harder and we will do that,” Liebenberg said.