Tuesday 23 July 2019

Victor Matfield: Ireland defeat is a wake-up call

Declan Whooley

South African lock Victor Matfield says defeat to Ireland in their opening Autumn Series should serve as a wake-up call to the Springboks.

Heyneke Meyer's side came into the game brimming with confidence after defeating the All Blacks in their last run-out, but tries from Rhys Ruddock and Tommy Bowe helped seal a 29-15 victory for the home side.

The inspirational second-row admitted that the Boks will need to address certain issues in their game, but praised Ireland for their performance and victory.

"I think this is a wake-up call, I think there are small little adjustments we need to do to our game," the Bulls forward said.

"Especially in those conditions, but hopefully we will learn out of this."

"I think the Irish played well but I also think that we didn't play to our potential, too many mistakes and I think one or two bad decisions too."

Matfield agreed the yellow card did have an im[pact on the outcome, but warned that the defeat leaves them with a big challenge to pick up the pieces with a trip to Twickenham next for the Springboks.

"I thought at half time we were in control, we were getting control back in the game. The yellow card took all that momentum away so that was a big swing in the game."

"After the New Zealand game everyone was singing our praises, one week later we are under huge pressure going down to Twickenham, playing against England, it's not getting easier and there is a lot of pressure on the team."

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