Liam del Carme
THE implications were perhaps not as weighty as that of the Second Coming, but in scoring his 39th Test try against Namibia yesterday, Bryan Habana relieved many fans of long-held anticipation. The collective exhale around the 26000-strong crowd was palpable, but Habana, who had not scored a try for 12 months, had a different order of business.
“The first thing I wanted to do was run back and thank Danie Rossouw for that pass. At that point in the game you are not really thinking what is happening, but to score a try is great.
“There was still a lot of hard work left, but I did want to run back and say thanks,” Habana said.
Rossouw, who had gone blindside with at least three players in support, opted to float the ball past the first two into the expectant arms of Habana, who made the most of the yard he had on the cover defence. It was one of the first-half tries in which the Springboks were still in the throes of laying down the building blocks for the rout of their neighbours. South Africa scored their third win in a row with a thumping 87-0 win over the hapless Namibians.
“It was a great team performance. It was a bit scrappy in the first half. There were a lot of individual errors, but there was a good foundation for the guys. We have a lot to take from this game … to see where we are going.
“Hopefully, we can get some team cohesion and guys will be hitting their straps and getting the right form. We don’t want to be a team that just kick the ball and chase. We want to be a team that can score tries,” he said. The Springboks have been able to do that with aplomb in their last two matches, admittedly against teams with a collective GDP in the region of what the Boks have tallied in those games.
Asked to comment on Habana’s record-breaking achievement, coach Peter de Villiers said: “John [Smit] became the most capped Springbok today.
“These things don’t bother the team. When we regrouped before the World Cup, we said there would be milestones and as a group we will be happy with them.
“But if their goals do not fit in with the team goals, then we don’t want them part of this group.”