Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
28 Dec 2013
9:00 am

Meyer’s CV still incomplete

Rudolph Jacobs

The Springboks' 2013 success rate will always be measured against that of the All Blacks, but the building blocks are certainly in place.

BRIGHT STAR. Springbok fullback Willie le Roux was one of the standout players this season. Picture: Getty Images.

The only two South African defeats came against the men in black, with scores of 29-15 in Auckland and 38-27 at Ellis Park, but with 10 wins from 12 Tests, the Boks are starting to soar.

Boasting 17 wins, two draws and five defeats in 24 Tests over the past two years, which includes an 83.3% rate this year, is way beyond a pass rate.

But coach Heyneke Meyer has lost all four Tests against New Zealand since starting his reign and will always be judged on that.

What has become increasingly clear though is that the current Bok team’s road to glory is hugely dependable on the availability of big flank Willem Alberts, and he has to be nurtured and managed.

They started their season off in Durban with a big win over Italy, but struggled against Scotland the following weekend in Nelspruit, before running away with Samoa at Loftus the week after that.

In the Rugby Championship, the Boks won four of six, including two away wins against the Pumas in Mendoza and a record win over the Wallabies in Brisbane.

The All Blacks confirmed themselves as the best on the planet despite a narrow escape against Ireland in Dublin, which saw them finish the season unbeaten in all 14 Tests, the first team to do so in the professional era.

The Boks, however, are firmly established as the second-best in the world, and don’t only want to narrow the gap in 2014, but are eyeing the 2015 World Cup to complete their current cycle.

Three straight wins in November against Wales, Scotland and France, have increased their momentum, while the emergence of Willie le Roux and the recall of Fourie du Preez and Jaque Fourie has installed great confidence in the team of self-believers.

In 2014, the Boks host Wales in June before opening the Championship campaign against the Pumas at Loftus.

After another challenging away trip they will host the Wallabies in Cape Town and have another date with the All Blacks at Ellis Park, which will give a further indication of how far the class of Meyer has come.