South Africa 29-13 Italy, Witbank, June 19
De Villiers unhappy despite victory
June 19, 2010
South Africa's Bryan Habana celebrates scoring a try, South Africa v Italy, Puma Stadium, Witbank, South Africa, June 19, 2010
Springbok try-scorer Bryan Habana celebrates moving to within one try of Joost van der Westhuizen's record of 38 © Getty Images

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers was highly critical of his side after they laboured to 29-13 victory over Italy in Witbank on Saturday.

The Springboks maintained their unbeaten start to the year thanks to tries from wing Bryan Habana, flanker Francois Louw, fly-half Morne Steyn and fullback Zane Kirchner but they failed to hammer home their advantage and the tourists battled back to outscore their hosts 10-7 in the second half.

"The one promise we can make is that we will be better next week," said De Villiers. "I always want this team to be an example and if we make such stupid mistakes at a national level it's disappointing. We let the supporters down because we didn't do what we are supposed to do.

"We're really spoiled because of the standards this team can reach, which is why we're so disappointed," said De Villiers. "We're happy that we won but we will sit down and rectify the mistakes. We made a lot of individual mistakes and that prevented us building momentum."

Captain Victor Matfield, echoed the thoughts of his coach and immediately set his sights on an improved performance in next Saturday's re-match with the Azzurri. "Our scrums were good, our lineouts were good but our individual skill levels let us down," he said. "There was bad delivery form the lineout, the ball was lost at the back of the scrum and there were knock ons."

De Villiers said Matfield was likely to be rested for the second Test in East London as he continues to rotate his option ahead of their defence of the Tri-Nations crown which kicks off against New Zealand on July 10.


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