Despite grinding out a 22-17 victory over Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer and captain Jean de Villiers said afterwards the performance was below par, but that they were happy with the win.
The Springboks won their first away match in The Castle Lager Rugby Championship since 2009 and still occupy first position on the log, but they realise a lot of hard work lies ahead before they depart for Australasia next Saturday.
“I will never complain about a victory, but the truth is we were not good today,” said Meyer after the match.
“It took a lot of guts and character to win here and for that I’m proud of the players. However, we all realise we will have to improve a lot if we’re going to be competitive in Brisbane and Auckland.
“We always knew this was going to be a very tough match and that the Pumas were going to be a different opponent here than they were back in Soccer City. We learnt some very valuable lessons from this match.
“We will keep our feet on the ground and our heads down and continue to work hard in the next few weeks.”
De Villiers said: “It was very tough out there. A year ago we drew this game but today we won. Although the performance was not up to the standards we set ourselves, we’re happy with the four points we got here.”
Morné Steyn, thanks to a flawless kicking display, scored 17 of the Springboks’ points through five penalty goals and a conversion, while Bjorn Basson scored the visitors’ only try.