Rugby World Cup
Springboks' Handre Pollard says his goal-kicking 'not good enough'
Sam Bruce
October 17, 2015

Springboks fly-half Handre Pollard has described Fourie du Preez's match-winning five-pointer against Wales as a "moment of brilliance" while accepting that he can't afford to miss any kicks in the Rugby World Cup semifinal against New Zealand, whom they will play at Twickenham on Saturday after recording a grinding four-point win in the first of the four quarter-finals.

Heyneke Meyer's side looked to be running out of time after dominating both possession and territory for much of the second-half, as their constant one-out attacks failed to break down a resilient Welsh defensive line, but Du Preez combined with Duane Vermeulen for the match's decisive play just when the two-time champions appeared set to exit at the quarterfinal stage for the second straight tournament.

"We always knew it was going to go 80 minutes or possibly 100 minutes," Pollard said. "I personally felt the Welsh played a great tactical game tonight. They were very smart in the way they went about things. And the moment of brilliance from Duane and Fourie; it's so fitting that two quality players like that get to do that ... it was just an amazing try."

© Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Meyer made the call to bring Du Preez back from Japan ahead of the tournament despite the 33-year-old scrum-half battling an ongoing back injury. But that decision may prove a masterstroke with the No.9 having taken on the captaincy after injuries to Jean De Villiers and Victor Matfield, and providing the class the Boks will need in the pressure-cooker environment of a World Cup semifinal.

"It was a dream come true at first but now I'm just enjoying it," Pollard said of the opportunity to play with Du Preez. "To play with a guy with that much experience and so much class it's unbelievable and of course we play from a great platform that our forwards give us. And then we've got the senior guys, Schalk [Burger] and Victor, if he plays, and then Fourie and Duane. So we've got a great mix and, at the moment, it's coming together well."

While the Springboks came away with the win thanks to Du Preez's late heroics, two missed penalties from Pollard ensured the match remained in the balance right up until the final whistle.

The young No.10 was pleased with his all-round effort post match but said he would have to be far more accurate from the kicking tee in seven days' time.

"I feel very confident in the way I played tonight, I was very happy," he said. "It was just those two kicks I missed in the second half. It's not good enough - I'll have to sort that out - but luckily I got the drop goal and got some confidence back."

© Sam Bruce

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - Mexican GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Snooker - China Open
    Tennis - Miami Open