The third and final Test against France on Saturday at Ellis Park will be just as important despite clinching the series in Durban last weekend, said Springbok coach Allister Coetzee.
In almost identical fashion the Boks won the second Test 37-15 in Durban after winning the first Test 37-14, but deliverance this weekend remain a top priority, said Coetzee.
“Every Test match is important to win,” said Coetzee.
“The third Test is equally important in terms of our growth even though the series have been won, we haven’t achieved anything yet,” said Coetzee..
“What’s pleasing in this group of 31 that we have that it’s so difficult to select because they are pushing for positions, they are all in form.”
Coetzee said however the concussion picked by flank Oupa Mohoje is very similar to the one suffered by centre Jesse Kriel in the first Test and which ruled him out of the second Test.
“Fortunately Jean-Luc (du Preez) and all the other bench players made huge impacts and that’s part of the plan like when Coenie (Oosthuizen, prop) came on and scored a try and made big hits and we were really tested by the French physicality.”
Centre Jan Serfontein was again superb in his 28th Test and Coetzee will do his best to retain his services with the 30-Test scenario coming in effect after the current June series.
“Jan is really a million bucks guy and a go-to man, the most experienced back starting and he has delivered,” said Coetzee.
“Hopefully when he leaves by October (for France) he had played 30 Tests or more and we can continue to pick him, providing he keeps fit and retains his good form,” said Coetzee.
Coetzee said they had to dig deep when France started the game on a high note going up 7-0 with a try by fullback Scott Spedding after just four minutes.
“The first 10 minutes we were beaten at the collisions but the players never panicked with captain Warren Whiteley in complete charge and turned things around,” said Coetzee.
The Bok coach preferred to credit the team environment for the two Test wins, saying the first try by Serfontein came about after a lineout and a good kick-chase by leftwing Courtnall Skosan.
“And there was an unselfish pass from Siya to Jan, but Siya was outstanding and we know his ability as a player and a leader and he is in rich form but also a leader off the field,” said Coetzee.