England tour of South Africa
Meyer praises Boks' pack mentality
June 10, 2012
Willem Alberts led South Africa's physical effort © PA Photos
South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer reserved special praise for his giant forward pack after their 22-17 first Test victory over England on Saturday.
Powered by Man of the Match Willem Alberts, the Springboks took the game away from England in the second-half thanks to tries from fly-half Morne Steyn and skipper Jean de Villiers.
Meyer - the former Bulls and Leicester boss - conceded that there had been fears over the scrum battle before kick-off but was delighted with the manner in which his pack responded to a half-time call to "get more stuck in".
"Willem Alberts and the loose forwards were brilliant and also our scrum - which was an area we were worried about - was brilliant," he told The Rugby Paper.
"There were a lot of there who bled for their country, and although there are parts of our gameplan we must work on, there was a lot of guts and commitment out there and you cannot ask for more than that.
"The plan was always to open up the game in the second-half. Jean was brilliant at half-time. I just said to the forwards, it's not good enough and they need to get more stuck in. I wanted them to up the tempo and they responded very well."
England will wait for further fitness updates on centre Brad Barritt (eye injury) and fullback Mike Brown (hand) prior to next weekend's second Test at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. Stuart Lancaster's fringe players are set for a hit-out against the South African Barbarians (South) on Wednesday.
"We need the midweek boys to pitch up and play well, put pressure on us and make sure we have got some good selection decisions to make," Lancaster said.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.