Aphiwe Dyantyi stretches and scores for the Springboks on Saturday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

DURBAN – Aphiwe Dyantyi turned in a Man of the Match performance as South Africa began their Rugby Championship campaign with a hard-fought 34-21 win at Kings Park in Durban.

Dyantyi, who burst onto the international scene during the incoming series win over England in June, was in inspired form on Saturday as he notched up two more international tries to go with a massive contribution without the ball in hand.

“It was a great effort by the gents, especially you know in the second half. We really improved after the first 40 – that was really tough.”

“The coaches asked us to come out and put in a lot more effort and that’s exactly what we did.”

Particularly impressive was the kick-chase from the Springbok backline which laid the platform for a strong second half showing. Dyantyi was pivotal in helping maintain the home side’s push for points and revealed that this encounter was a reflection of the long hours put in on the training field.

“I think a lot has to do with what goes on on the training ground with coach Sticks,” said Dyantyi referring to how often defence without the ball turned into attack deep in Argentine territory.

“He works really hard and he works us really hard.

“There’s a lot that goes into it with the video analysis and he always makes sure we put in the effort during the training sessions.”

Aphiwe Dyantyi narrowly misses a scoring opportunity on Saturday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Aphiwe Dyantyi narrowly misses a scoring opportunity on Saturday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

The Lions winger’s meteoric rise seems to have no ceiling but the 23-year-old is aware of greater challenges to come in the next few games – both personally and for the team.

“Um, let’s win against New Zealand and then we can call it a dream season,” he said when asked if 2018 could be labelled a dream.

Africa News Agency (ANA)


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