After struggling to escape the clutches of the World XV in the opening half to lead by just 18-13 at the break, coach Heyneke Meyer said Matfield’s halftime talk did the trick.
“I think Victor was awesome at halftime,” said Meyer.
“Some harsh words were required at halftime. Some of the squad members also haven’t played the last five, six months and it’s not Super Rugby, it’s Test rugby. I was not happy with the quick recycle of our ball possession.”
Matfield said the players responded well after they were slightly off the boil in the first half, despite two great tries by wing Bryan Habana and lock Bakkies Botha.
“In the first half we made too many mistakes and gave away soft or I would rather say silly penalties, while we also didn’t kick on our own terms,” he said.
Two brilliant rolling maul tries by hooker Bismarck du Plessis and five pointers by replacement flyhalf Johan Goosen and fullback Willie le Roux late in the game showed what the Boks are capable of.
“We know Wales would pose a stronger challenge in Durban on Saturday with their solid pack and big backline players, but every Springbok try is special for us,” said Meyer.
“I think however the two rolling maul tries was great while the Victor dummy in Bakkies’ try was phenomenal.”
Meyer also said the scrums improved in the second half, but he is not overly concerned about it.