Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer


Contrasting emotions for skippers Vermeulen and Slipper after Boks hammer Wallabies

Vermeulen on the other hand was delighted with the effort of his boys and praised their performance and the packed Loftus stadium.


There were contrasting emotions for Springbok skipper Duane Vermeulen and his Australian counterpart James Slipper, after the Boks powered to a massive 43-12 win over the Wallabies in the opening match of the Rugby Championship at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday night.

Aussie co-captain Slipper was extremely disappointed with the effort shown by his team, highlighting their inability to deal with pressure and discipline as key problem areas, while also praising the performance of the Boks.

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“We had an opportunity to come here and put in a performance that we were proud of, but to be fair we just defended the whole second half. So you’ve got to give credit to the Springboks, they put us under pressure and we will learn a lot from that,” said Slipper.

“In Test matches you have to be playing well in certain areas. The set pieces need to be functioning, you need to be playing at the right end of the field and we just didn’t do that tonight.

“We wanted to play a Wallaby game tonight. It was disappointing that we couldn’t deal with the pressure. The discipline put us on the back foot a bit. We had two players go to the sin bin.

“But we will learn from this. We have Argentina next week, so we will go again. It’s a tough start but we have got a long year ahead of us, there is plenty to come so we will keep working hard.”

Delighted captain

Vermeulen on the other hand was delighted with the effort of his boys and praised their performance and the packed Loftus stadium that helped lift the team throughout the game.

Despite the big scoreline the stand-in captain admitted they could have been even better if they took all of their chances.

“I am really proud of the boys, it was a fantastic performance and an absolutely tremendous crowd out here, but we can still improve. It wasn’t 100% our best performance,” said Vermuelen.

“We had our plans coming into the game and we didn’t know what to expect from Australia. We knew Eddie (Jones) might have one or two things up his sleeve. So I think we adapted well, played to our strengths and I am really happy with our performance.”

Lethal Arendse

Bok wing Kurt-Lee Arendse was in lethal form on the night, running in his first hattrick for the national side while also bringing his try tally to 10 from eight games, but he played down his performance, rather focusing on the effort of the team as a whole.

“It was really special to play here at a packed Loftus. The crowd was amazing and it was great to get the win. We knew the first 20 minutes was going to be but then the forwards started to give us good momentum and the backs were able to strike,” explained Arendse.

“It’s always special to play at Loftus and contribute to the team and I am just happy we got the win. We prepared well for them and at the end of the day it ended in our favour.”