New Springboks second row RG Snyman has lauded the experience of his team-mates in leading the side to victory over England in the first Test of the series.
The debutant Bulls lock said he felt like the match was ‘never going to end’ after England came flying out of the blocks to take a 24-8 lead. But a sterling fightback from the hosts saw the tries stack up against their opponents in a 42-39 win.
Despite contributing to the team with an assist for fellow first cap Aphiwe Dyantyi’s second score and a crucial lineout steal at the death, the 23-year-old said it was the calming presence of Duane Vermeulen who allowed him to play at his best.
It’s a big honour and a privilege to play for the Springboks. It’s something you dream about growing up. Running out at Ellis Park is a special moment, seeing all those people there to support you. It was a nice match to play,” Snyman said.
The first 20 minutes, I felt like it was never going to end.”
“Playing with guys that have walked the road in a Bok jersey before and have a lot of experience was nice, especially being down after 20 minutes and Duane (Vermeulen) just having a chat to us.
“You can see that maybe he’s been in a situation like that before and he instilled a bit of calmness into the guys.”
The Boks blend of youth and experience smoothed the rough edges of a match that saw debutants Sbu Nkosi and Dyantyi score, while Faf de Klerk was as sly as a fox at scrum-half.
The two sides now travel to Bloemfontein for the second Test at the home of the Cheetahs.