Springbok assistant coach Franco Smith called for a more clinical performance when South Africa face an improved France in the second Castle Lager Incoming Series match on Saturday in Durban.
Smith and Bok flyhalf Elton Jantjies addressed the media at the team hotel in Umhlanga Ridge on Tuesday, shortly after the team returned from training, which included a good scrum session on the outer-fields of Growthpoint Kings Park.
The Bok backline coach said he was pleased with the team’s attacking display in the first encounter in Pretoria, which the Boks won 37-14 after outscoring the French by four tries to one. However, Smith added that much more work is needed because the team has slipped a few scoring opportunities at Loftus.
“We are busy with a process, we still have a long way to go but the team environment is very good and the guys gave a great effort in the first Test,” explained Smith.
He did however caution that a much tougher challenge is expected from the French, who will be bolstered by several key players from Clermont and Toulon this week.“There will be changes to the French team and I’m sure their defence will be better prepared for us,” said Smith.
“I think that defence will be a lot tighter now that the two teams have played one game against each other and we would have had time to study one another.”
Smith was pleased with the attacking opportunities the team created: “The good news is that we are creating space. We probably could have scored four more tries, though. We made some line breaks and then we just didn’t finish, and that is something that we are working on very hard this week.
“This week, there will be changes to the French team and I’m sure their defence will be better prepared for us. I believe that defence will be a lot tighter now that the two teams have played one game against each other and would have had time to study each in video sessions,” said Smith.
Jantjies said the players are working hard and that he was enjoying the responsibility of directing the play, but he praised the forwards for laying a solid platform for the backs.
“The forwards worked incredibly hard to give us good positions from where we could attack. Like Coach Franco said, we know the French are going to come with a huge onslaught and we have to be ready for it,” said Jantjies.