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Rugby | Springboks

It will get tougher from here - Faf

Springbok hero Faf de Klerk played down his role in Saturday’s 42-39 epic win over England in the Castle Lager Incoming Tours first test but immediately warned his teammates, from here on that it gets tougher.

De Klerk was a “buzzsaw” – as Eddie Jones called him – and was a deserved man of the match winner for his inspiring performance as the Boks came back from 24-3 down to beat England in a thrilling encounter.

But now that the opening test is out of the way and the Boks have their first win under new coach Rassie Erasmus, De Klerk believes the second test will be a lot tougher.

“We know a bit more about England now and they know a bit more about us. We had a few debutants guys they haven’t really seen play. So I think it is going to even it out a bit more… I think it is going to get tougher and harder but hopefully we can still see some good tries scored,” he said after the game

De Klerk believes the English side caught them out a bit tactically in the opening 20 minutes when the Boks let in three tries, and that won’t happen easily again.

“They surprised me a bit with their running from their 22m and they caught us out a few times. England are always going to be a strong side. A win in a Springbok jersey is always going to be great but to get a win against England is more special because they are honestly a quality side.

“They’ve had a few losses but they are always there and there about. There are never big scores and they were right there at the end and luckily we got that line-out steal and that was it,” De Klerk said.

“It was just excitement. The team suddenly realised how we want to play and what they are actually able to do. They were running over guys, hitting guys back, stepping and scoring tries and for me it is just exciting to see the team realising that what they are capable of. Hopefully we can build on that and become a better side.”

De Klerk believes his game was satisfying, but didn’t want to call it a “complete performance”.

“I don’t think my game has changed much but I think my game management is a bit better. But playing with experienced guys like Handre Pollard and getting the calls early makes it easy for a player.

“There is a little bit of experience gained overseas and it didn’t feel like my first game anymore. I had a bit more confidence and calmness and that always helps. Not a complete performance at all, I still have a lot to work on and so does the team. Hopefully we can start working on Monday and correcting those errors.”

The Boks have moved to Bloemfontein and will begin their training on Monday for Saturday’s second test.


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