Castle Lager Incoming Series – “The Breakdowns Is Definitely One Of The Areas We’ll Focus On This Week” – Pieter-Steph du Toit


Springbok flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit relished the occasion of facing Ireland on home soil for the first time since 2016 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday but agreed with Rassie Erasmus (coach) there were areas they had to work on when they return to the training field on Monday.

The Boks won the opening Test of the Castle Lager Incoming Series by 27-20. The Boks took a 13-8 lead going into the break and had to show their fighting spirit in a gripping second half in which they held a 20-8 lead in the 64th minute. A yellow card to Kurt-Lee Arendse in the 73rd minute saw the match come down to the wire.

The Irish scored two tries within four minutes in the closing stages of the match, but a penalty try from a magnificent scrum by the Boks saw them snatch the victory.

“It’s always tough facing Ireland,” said Du Toit.

“They are a good team and facing them is always a good challenge. Fortunately, we had a lot of experience in the team, and I think that helped us a lot.”

The match marked the first outing between the sides in South Africa since 2016 – which was also the last time the Springboks registered a victory against Ireland – and while Du Toit said they enjoyed the occasion, he added they would immediately turn their attention to next week’s outing in Durban.

“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 on Sunday and start working hard again on Monday, 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.”