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Boks ‘nowhere near’ their best

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Despite their record-breaking 58-10 victory over the depleted English side in Bloemfontein at the weekend, Springbok captain John Smit feels his team is “nowhere near” their best form.

The Boks’ seven-tries-to-one romp in the first of a two-match series was England’s second biggest defeat ever – beaten only by the 76-0 hammering at the hands of Australia in 1998 – and the biggest ever against the Springboks.

South Africa and England go head-to-head again in Pretoria this coming Saturday, June 2, and the general feeling is that the tourists will be on the end f another big hiding.

However, the Bok captain made it clear that he was not entirely happy with his team’s second-half slump and other aspects of their game in Bloemfontein at the weekend.

Speaking of the 20-minute period just after the half-time break, in which England managed to score their only try, Smit said his team knows they let themselves down.

“We certainly were very ordinary after we came out at half-time,” the Bok captains said.

“That try they scored woke us up. I said to the guys behind the poles ‘let’s get out of cruise control and let’s carry on playing this test match’.

“Then the guys got back into the frame of mind where they played the kind of game we’ve been practicing all week,” Smit said.

He described the game as the “first chapter of many” in this World Cup year.

“It’s the first test of quite a massive year, and we treated it as such. Yes, it was always difficult to know what to expect [from the first test of the year].

“After just five days of preparation a couple of things worked out well and a couple of things didn’t.

“No doubt we’ve got a lot to work on.

“It was the first chapter of many chapters of what hopefully will be a successful story for the Boks in 2007.

“We are nowhere near where we need to get to, but we know we’ve got to lift it every single week and grow.”

By Jan de Koning 365 Digital

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