The Springboks are intent on ensuring that powerful lock RG Snyman reaches his full potential as a ‘weapon’ of mass destruction at Test level, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
While there were a host of highlights in the Springboks’ thrilling win over England last Saturday, one of the most memorable moments came in the first minute of the second half when Snyman broke away from the Boks’ 22m line and went on a rampaging run into the opposition half.
Yet, as much as that moment sent the vociferous Ellis Park crowd into raptures, Snyman also won as many cheers when he stole a crucial England lineout late in the game.
It capped off a standout debut for the talented 23-year-old, who made a meaningful impact as both a ball-carrier and defender, while featuring prominently at lineout time.
‘Look at the size of him!’ Bok forwards coach Matt Proudfoot commented on Tuesday as he sat alongside Snyman at the team’s Bloemfontein base. ‘He’s an influential player, and we want him to be a weapon for Boks. We want him in that frame of mind, and to create a platform for the team to play off.
‘RG had a fantastic first Test, and he will be better for it. He’s been influential for the Bulls [in Super Rugby] this season, and he’s now brought that here. We want him to keep improving, so we’ll set new goals for the second game, but it’s been great to see that RG has a real appetite for work, and he’s a really intelligent player.’
When Snyman himself was reminded of his first-Test exploits, he could only smile. For one, what did he make of that all-important lineout steal?
‘It was just more a spur of the moment decision, but I’m happy with the way it turned out,’ he said humbly. ‘I’m just glad we got the ball back and could close out the game from there.’
And what did he remember about his barnstorming break?
‘When I started running, I realised no one was tackling me, so I just decided to go for it,’ he replied with a laugh.
Having racked up an impressive 49m from nine runs, Snyman also admitted that there was some banter doing the rounds between him and the backs.
‘Ja, I was looking for some support, but it didn’t seem to come. I had to slow down for them,’ he said with a laugh.
Light-hearted moments aside, Snyman said the honour of representing the Boks had exceeded his expectations.
‘After the first 20 minutes [when the Boks fell 21 points behind], it felt like the game was never going to end. But a guy like Duane [Vermeulen] spoke to us, and we were able to get it together and fight back. I’m really grateful to have got the opportunity to play my first Test, and I’m now really looking forward to getting out there again.’
The Springbok team to face England in the second Test will be named on Thursday at 1pm.
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