The Springboks celebrated a special Rugby Championship win over the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday evening, breaking a nine year and eight game winless run in the country with a dominant 24-8 result.
The bonus point win has kept the Rugby Championship well in the balance with the All Blacks topping the log on 10 points, followed by the Boks, Australia and Argentina all on nine, with the Boks ahead on points difference.
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In the match Damian Willemse enjoyed a superb showing, slotting in at flyhalf after injuries to Handre Pollard and Elton Jantjies, which saw him receive a deserved man of the match award.
“I am really happy with that (performance). First time we have won over here (since 2013), so tonight’s very special and credit to all the boys who put in the hard work this week and to the coaching staff,” said Willemse.
“It was a collective effort this week, everyone helped me and everyone did brilliantly. It was a new adjustment for me coming into number 10, but I really enjoyed it and the boys around me helped me, so credit to them as well.
“It has been great to be back in Australia, the hospitality has been amazing and we’ve loved it here. Obviously getting the win here makes it very special.”
Bok captain Siya Kolisi was also immense and could easily have picked up the player award, having led the side superbly, while defending and attacking brilliantly and making a number of steals at the breakdown.
“It was a tough week, but I am grateful for the way the boys stood up. I am grateful for the support from people back at home, they took it (loss last week) really hard and so did we. But I am so proud of the way we stood up as a group, we knew what we had to do,” said Kolisi.
“It (the game) was the same as last week, we just took our opportunities this week. Last week we created so many opportunities in the first half and we didn’t take any of them. Today we took most of the opportunities that we got.
“Our discipline was good and I think it’s been good the last couple of weeks. The courage that the boys showed was amazing. It was a long drought for us here, so it’s a great thing for us as a group.”
Young Bok debutant Canan Moodie also put in a great showing in what should be the first of many games for the team, and saw him score a brilliant try in the first half.
“It was quite special but obviously very nerve racking building up to the game. There was a lot of media attention and well wishes and fans messaging, and it comes with that,” said Moodie.
“So it was a very special week and now that the game is finished I am just grateful to have gone through the 80 minutes.
“Getting your first cap is special enough, but scoring is even more special. To top it off with that I am really grateful for it and contributing to the team win is what my job is, so I am just happy I could contribute.”