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VIDEO: The real reason behind Boks' success against Irish

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Springbok star-flank Pieter-Steph du Toit revealed that squad depth was the key to his team’s success against Ireland.

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The Springboks won the first Test of the series on Saturday, beating the Six Nations champions by 27-20 at Loftus Versfeld.

The Springboks landed the first blow with an amazing Kurt-Lee Arendse try in the third minute.

The Boks never relinquished the lead but had a few nervy moments in the second half.

After an incredible scrum saw them awarded a penalty try for a 27-8 lead, Ireland scored two late tries in the closing stages.

The win marked the first time the Springboks beat the Irish since 2016.

The two teams will battle it out this week at Kings Park in Durban. It will be another stern encounter for both camps.

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“It’s always tough facing Ireland, especially since Rassie Erasmus took over we haven’t won against them,”  Springbok flank said Du Toit after the match in Pretoria.

“It was difficult for us. I think we built a lot of squad depth over the years and have a lot of experience in the team which helped us a lot.”

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While tries by Arendse, Kolbe and that amazing scrum penalty try stole the show, it was the second-half changes that surprised more than 50,000 spectators at  Loftus Versfeld.

In another significant strategy and continuous effort to build squad depth, head coach Rassie Erasmus changed his entire starting tight five and captain Siya Kolisi in the 45th minute.

Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert and Kolisi made way for Gerhard Steenekamp, Malcolm Marx, Vincent Koch, Salmaan Moerat, RG Snyman and Marco van Staden.

While it was a risky move, given that Kolisi was in incredible form during the match, it was a decision that paid off.

When asked about the strategy, Du Toit who finished the clash as the skipper said: “There is a strategy behind it, and a plan.

“I think that is what contributes to the success of the whole team and the whole campaign.

“Rassie says always get the right people for the job and the right people buy into the plan.

“When it is time to discuss it, we discuss it, but when we walk out of the change room all buy into it.

“At half-time, he [Erasmus] told us he is itching to bring six guys from the bench.

“[On Saturday] it worked for us but it definitely can go against you as well.

“The coaches did their research.”

The 31-year-old admitted this week would require a new strategy and revealed that there were a few work-ons for the Durban Test as the side eyes a clean sweep.

“It was nice to play against them in South Africa and there was a great vibe within the team and at the stadium, but we now need to turn our focus to next week because our goal is to win both matches against them,” said Du Toit.

“We made a lot of mistakes, and we must correct that going into the next match. We’ll have a good look at this match, so we are ready for the next game.”

With the breakdowns indeed proving to be a massive battle in the match, Du Toit said it was one of the areas they had to improve on next week.

“That battle was big,” said Du Toit.

“There were times that they had the upper hand in that area, so it’s definitely one of the areas we’ll focus on this week.”

 

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