Australia 25-32 South Africa, Tri-Nations, August 29
Satisfied Smit hails job well done
August 29, 2009
Springbok winger Bryan Habana slides over for the first of his two tries in Perth © Getty Images
The South Africans arrived in Australia with a 100% record in tow, having won all three of their previous games in this year's Tri-Nations, but few were singing their praises on account of their no frills, kicking-orientated style of play. However, the reigning world champions cut loose in Perth, running in four tries to claim a fine away win which has all but clinched the Boks the Tri-Nations title.
The manner of the victory was the perfect riposte to those who have argued that Peter de Villiers' men are incapable of playing open, running rugby but Smit insisted afterwards that silencing the naysayers had been the last thing on their minds.
"We've said all along that we'll do whatever is necessary to win. We knew that to beat the Wallabies today we'd have to score some tries and that did the job. It was a pretty good win. We got the result the wanted," he told Sky Sports.
"We'd a pretty short week here in Perth (they arrived in two separate groups, on Monday and then Tuesday) and we saw the energy of the first 50 (minutes). We slipped into defensive mode in the last 30 and there was a lot of penetration coming. But we stayed organised."
Meanwhile, Smit's Wallaby counterpart, George Smith, was left with mixed emotions at the full-time whistle. The Aussies had ultimately paid the price for a succession of turnovers and unforced errors but still managed three tries and showed plenty of heart after battling their way back into contention after a dreadful start.
"It was a bit up and down from us. You can't give the Springboks an early lead like we did. We were 15 points down early on and left chasing the game. The way we finished was fantastic and we scored three tries so there are positives there," said the flanker.
"But we've lost another close game. We have to sustain what we did in the final 20 for the whole game. The boys are hurting now but we'll regroup and hopefully we'll get a good crowd in Brisbane next week and turn things around."