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VIDEO: Pieter-Steph was nervous before 'home game'

Pieter Stephanus du Toit got a measure of retribution when he captained South Africa to a commanding 41-13 win over Wales at Twickenham at the weekend.

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For Du Toit, Springbok No.854, it was only his second outing as a Springbok skipper.

Affectionately known as Pieter-Steph, the 31-year-old made his Test debut in November 2013 against Wales in Cardiff.

On 2 June 2018, Du Toit became the 60th captain of South Africa, as he led the Springboks out against Wales, losing the match 20–22.

At the weekend, he was at the forefront of South Africa’s warm-up win over a Welsh team in transition.

Man of the Match in the Springboks’ 12-11 World Cup Final win over New Zealand in Paris in October, Du Toit showed that he has lost none of the drive that has made him a key figure in the national team.

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Du Toit made 10 carries for 30 metres, beat two defenders and made a team-high 11 tackles – including his now trademark #BIG hits.

He conceded no turnovers or penalties.

It was classic Pieter-Steph – corporeal, but honest with a healthy respect for the game’s ethos.

Responding to a @rugby365com question about his captaincy and his ‘love’ for tackling, Du Toit and coach Rassie Erasmus, both grinned broadly.

(WATCH as Pieter Stephanus du Toit chats to @king365ed about captaining South Africa to victory over Wales…..)

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“It was awesome to play here in London, at Twickenham – with all the fans here,” the Bok brute said.

“It felt like a home game.

“I made my debut against them [in 2013],” he said, with both his outings as Bok captain also against the Welsh Dragons.

“It is special for me.

“I have a special bond – looking at that [history].”

Du Toit admitted he was a bit stressed before the game.

“You feel a bit different,” he said, adding: “You don’t know if it is how you feel or how the team is feeling.

“You must wonder if you must address yourself or speak to the team.

“I learnt a lot in this game about my responsibility in the team.”

SA v Ire head to head

Du Toit may not be captain, but he will continue playing a major role when South Africa tackles Ireland in a two-match series next month.

The No.1 and No.2 ranked teams in the world go head-to-head at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on July 6 and face off again a week later at Kings Park in Durban.

Ireland has won their last three encounters with the Springboks, including a 13-8 win in a World Cup pool match in September.

In contrast, the Boks won two-nil when the Irish last visited the Republic – SA winning 32-26 at Ellis Park ion Johannesburg and 19-13 in Port Elizabeth a week later.

Overall, in more than a century of this rivalry, the Boks have won 18 of their 28 encounters – with just one draw, in 1970.

@king365ed
@rugby365com

In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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