South Africa 31-8 Australia, Rugby Championship
Meyer demands more from Springboks
September 29, 2012
Australia's Anthony Faingaa tackles South Africa's Zane Kirchner during their clash in Pretoria © Getty Images
South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer welcomed his side's return to winning ways in this year's Rugby Championship but immediately raised the bar.
A much-improved Springboks side powered to 31-8 victory over Australia in Pretoria on Saturday thanks largely to a Bryan Habana hat-trick but Meyer has demanded his side become more clinical after a number of scoring chances were missed.
Fly-half Johan Goosen and scrum-half Ruan Pienaar missed a combined six kicks at goal while three tries were ruled out by the Television Match Official with Meyer aware that such shortcomings are likely to be punished by New Zealand in their final outing next weekend.
"We have very high standards, and there were three more tries that we should have scored," he said. "It's great to come home and win, and we haven't beaten the Aussies for some time, but we have to start taking those opportunities. We would like to score more tries next week but we are aware of the challenge of playing the world champions."
Looking ahead to that clash, that may decide the Rugby Championship title depending on the All Blacks' result against Argentina in La Plata later today, he added: "New Zealand are a very settled side. In terms of defence, they have a number of experienced players who have been in that system for ages.
"They're the world champions and one of the reasons for that is their defence. It's going to be really difficult to create and score against them. We will need to be more patient with ball in hand, more tactically astute. If we get scoring opportunities, we will need to make them count.
"We are the only team that has played three matches away in a row. The All Blacks will come here now and we are hoping that South Africa will get behind us. It is always harder for visiting teams to win on the Highveld too."
Australia's failed attempt to make it six wins in-a-row against the Boks was blighted by yet more injuries with the most alarming a concussion suffered by centre Adam Ashley-Cooper as he denied South Africa's Zane Kirchner a try. The Wallabies star was knocked out and stretchered from the field before being taken to hospital.
"I have never seen anything like that in terms of carnage," said Deans. "We were down to 13 men at one point and not being able to make that last replacement put us under the pump."
"It could have blow out even more," he, praising the pride shown in the closing stages. We were severely compromised in terms of the line-up, but they hung on."
"[Ashley-Cooper] is up and about, which is encouraging for him because it didn't look good," added Deans. "Berrick Barnes is having an x-ray (chest) and there are a couple of other blokes in the shed that will need some follow up.
"We are going to have to bring some players across from Australia which is going to be challenging because we've already delved so deep into our resources that there will be a couple of players who won't yet have visas organised. Organising a visa for Argentina is not straight forward so it is possible that some of the blokes won't get there in time for training."
Digby Ioane (knee), Radike Samo (shoulder) and Tatafu Polota Nau (shoulder) are also major doubts for the Wallabies' clash with Argentina in Rosario next weekend.
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