Durban - Opposing captains Victor Matfield and Alun Wyn Jones bemoaned a collective poor use of the ball in the Springboks’ 38-16 victory over Wales in the first test in Durban on Saturday, with both demanding improvement for the second match in Mbombela.
The Springboks ran in five tries for a comprehensive victory in a disjointed contest as Wales committed numerous handling errors in the first half and South Africa followed suit in the second, having led 28-9 at the break.
“We are happy, but there is still some hard work ahead as we made too many mistakes in the second half,” Boks skipper Matfield told reporters.
“However, the nice part of that is that we can put in the hard yards this week. We can only get better the more we play together.
“We made some errors in the second half but none in the first half. At this level, if you give away ball, you can be without it for 10 minutes.”
Wales, who managed just a single try, only really put pressure on the home side in the final 15 minutes, having battled with the pace and physicality of the hosts up to that point.
However, Jones believes there were enough signs in that period to suggest that they can claim a first ever win on South African soil in the second test next Saturday.
“We were lacklustre in possession and we know we can't afford to do that,” Jones said.
“We saw in patches that when we kept the ball, we were a test to the defence but when they turn it over that easily we are not going to score any points.
“We showed that we haven't learned from our past mistakes by giving them freedom and wide open spaces. When we had possession, we got turned over pretty quickly. We created four chances in the first half and didn't take any of them.”
While coach Warren Gatland's selection options for the second test will be revealed in the coming days, Jones said there were enough positive signs off the bench that a number of replacements were pushing for a start.
“Its a back-handed positive that we held out in the last 10 but more of a positive was the fact that Matthew Morgan, Gareth Davies and James Hook gave us attacking options when they came on,” he said. - Reuters