Meyer: We got the basics right

JOHANNESBURG - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said his side performed the basics right, which allowed them to out-muscle Samoa.

South Africa beat the spiteful Pacific Islanders 56-23 in the Final of the four-nation tournament at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

"I thought Francois Louw and Willem Alberts brought a lot of physicality to the game," Meyer told a post-match media scrum.

"Francois was brilliant on the loose ball.

"I knew he was going to play a great game," the Bok mentor added.

"But this is a team sport and a team effort and I am very happy and proud of the whole team."

Meyer earlier in the week said their struggles against Scotland last week were due to a lack of quick ball.

The South Africans made up for it in abundance against Samoa which translated into the eight tries they scored.

The Bok coach praised the team for the way they made the step-up this week and for physically stamping their authority on the Samoans.

"I could see even before the team talk the guys were really focused and I asked them the whole week for a physical performance."

Samoa took the game to South Africa from the word go as they attacked the gainline with speed and intensity but the Springboks were up to the task on defence.

In what must rank as the best and most entertaining performance since Heyneke Meyer took over as coach, the Boks outscored Samoa by 10 tries to two.

However, the final encounter of this three-week extravaganza will have a dark cloud of the Samoan thuggery hanging over it.

The Samoans put on display the best and worst of their game, with the thuggery overshadowing the good bits of play they produced in the second half.

The referee on more than one occasion spoke to the captains about the off-the-ball incidents.

But he need have bothered with the Boks. They were outstanding in the face of what must rank among some of the ugliest incidents between these two countries.

There was James So'oialo, who was lucky not to have been red-cared for grabbing Bok hooker Adriaan Strauss by the testicles. Despite the TMO reporting to the referee that So'oialo had grabbed an opponent in an 'indecent manner', the referee opted to only award a penalty.

Alesana Tuilagi was red-carded in the 58th minute for his cheap shot on Jean de Villiers - a late high coathanger that flattened the Bok captain way off the ball.

Prop Cencus Johnson was also lucky not to have seen red, after he kicked Coenie Oosthuizen in the groin and then got him in a throttle.

That doesn't even take into account the numerous other late, off-the-ball tackles and repeated penalties for illegal tactics that went unpunished.

Samoan captain Paul Williams was at his most tactful best, but admitted his team did not exactly cover themselves in glory.

"Our lack of discipline let us down badly," Williams said, adding: "We were on the wrong side of the penalty count.

"It was a humbling experience against a great Springbok team." – Rugby365

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