Winger S’bu Nkosi says the Springboks have learned from their failure to convert the opportunities they created against England last Saturday.
The Boks will head into what is effectively a must-win match against France on Saturday, and will be determined to produce a far more clinical performance than they did in the tour opener at Twickenham.
In particular, the Boks established significant ascendancy in most key areas during the first half. In that period, the visitors enjoyed 75% of territory and 67% of possession, while making 200m to 78 and forcing England to make 88 tackles to 30.
Despite this superiority, the Springboks only managed to muster a two-point lead at the break, which ultimately came back to haunt them as they slipped to an eventual 12-11 defeat.
Chatting to the media in Paris ahead of Saturday’s clash against France, Nkosi reiterated that the team remained determined to bounce back after last Saturday’s disappointment.
‘The morale is still very high as it normally is in this environment. We learned from the mistakes we made against England, particularly in the first half when we played in the right areas, but failed to convert opportunities.
‘But we’ve outlined that, we know that we need to finish off chances, and the leaders have been keeping the boys motivated and determined to do that this week.’
Nkosi explained that the players have been empowered to embrace the technical and tactical side of the game, which he suggested would be key to overcoming France.
‘I think South Africa has always managed to produce players that are tactically astute, and what coach Rassie [Erasmus] has brought in is the technical part of the game. The coaches are doing their best to make us smarter rugby players, and to think a few phases ahead rather than just seeing the picture that is right in front of you.
‘They’ve instilled a lot of professionalism where the players take extreme ownership of the game plan and their roles and responsibilities in the team.’
Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images
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