Deon Davids hails improvement from Springbok forwards
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CAPE TOWN – Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids has praised their forwards for the way they stepped up against the British & Irish Lions in the second Test of the Series at the weekend.
The Boks levelled the Series 1-1 with a top second-half performance at Cape Town Stadium as they secured a 27-9 victory after trailing 6-9 at the break.
The Bomb Squad played a big role in the Boks’ improved form as their contributions off the bench helped swing things in the hosts’ favour.
“If we relate this performance to the previous one, I think the forwards responded well in terms of the areas we wanted to improve on. We were maybe slow out of the blocks, but we improved,” Davids said.
“There is always a process that we go through, and from an effort point of view and improving in fundamental areas, there was a step-up in that. We worked hard on our attitude and effort at the set-piece. We will continue to strive and set higher goals for ourselves.”
Davids also spoke about how the rise of players like Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am – who both come from the Kings – should be an inspiration to others.
“It’s of course satisfying to see players from smaller unions rise and reach their dreams. I’m happy that I could play a small part in them reaching their potential,” said Davids, who was the Southern Kings head coach from 2016 to 2019.
“From a coach’s perspective, it shouldn’t always just be about winning games, you have to make a difference to that player’s life. You can see that with Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus…you can see it with our director of rugby, the way he drives everybody to be the best they can be. That is a tremendous attribute.
“I have seen how hard they work, and when you look at them you just need to congratulate them for how far they’ve come. I hope that it shows younger players that their aspirations are within reach.”
Meanwhile, wing Rosko Specman, loose forward Dan du Preez and hooker Johan Grobbelaar have all been called up to join the Boks in Cape Town.
The call-up for Grobbelaar marks his first to the national side, while Specman, who made his Test debut against Georgia, and Du Preez return after being included in the wider squad for the Lions series.
"We have a tough Rugby Championship series ahead after Saturday's series decider against the British & Irish Lions and given the strict Covid-19 protocols we have to adhere to, we have decided to bring the players in sooner rather than later," Nienaber said as he expained the thinking behind the call-ups.
"This is Johan's first senior national call up and we are looking forward to seeing what he can do at this level after showing his class and consistency at the Bulls.
"Rosko played against Georgia and we know what he has to offer having worked with him for several weeks before he was released from camp.
"Dan was one of the unlucky players who didn’t get game time due to Covid-19 in our first few matches, so we are looking forward to having him back and giving him a chance to show us what he can do again.”
The Boks will name their side to face the Lions in decider today.