Coach Rassie Erasmus has kept expectations in check despite the Springboks’ comfortable 34-21 win over Argentina in Durban on Saturday.
While the home side scored six tries, the most against the Pumas since 2013, they didn’t have it all their way and were particularly guilty of being wasteful in the first half.
“The only positive was the first 30 minutes in the second half. It was the only decent rugby we played,” Erasmus said afterwards.
“I was expecting that we wouldn’t produce a completely fluent display, but the first half was worse than I thought. Thankfully the boys picked it up after the break.”
Indeed, the Boks relied much on the attacking instincts of wingers Aphiwe Dyantyi and Makazole Mapimpi to make the game safe and would’ve been concerned about how they misfired in the set-pieces, especially the lineouts.
“We lost a few lineouts that were crucial and there were some technical errors but for all of that it was a dominant performance. It wasn’t the crispest performance though. Technically and tactically we weren’t always on par,” said Erasmus.
The Springboks will be acutely aware that relatively easy wins over the Pumas in South Africa haven’t translated in comfortable assignments when they travel to South America the next week.
In fact, the Argentinians are generally a team transformed on home soil.
As a result, Erasmus has the tricky task of bringing in fresh faces without affecting continuity too significantly.
“They know what we’re about now and we’ll make a few changes to the team – four or five – as we’re expecting a massive physical onslaught. They are fuming,” he said.
“They have always been tough at home. Going there, I don’t think we have the luxury of experimenting.”