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Rugby | Whiteley plays down renaissance talk


Cape Town – Springbok captain Warren Whiteley is keeping his side’s feet
firmly on the ground following their 37-15 victory over France.

The result means that the Boks clinched the series with two
convincing displays against les Bleus in successive weeks. 

And it has prompted talk that the Boks are enjoying
something of a renaissance following last year’s nightmare campaign in which
they lost a record eight out of 12 matches. 

But Whiteley is cautioning against over-confidence and is
intent on closing out the series 3-0. 

“This is our second game,” he said. 

“I think we have 11 or 12 more games this year [it is
11]. There is still a lot of rugby to be played. I’m not saying we didn’t do
well … of course, we are extremely excited by this start and the foundation
we have laid … but we still believe there is a lot of rugby to be played and
we still believe we can improve more as a team and that is what is exciting for
us as a group. 

“There were a fair number of unknowns going into last
week, a lot of pressure on us as a team but we prepared a lot better than we
did in the past, we had various number of camps, everyone was on the same page
and we could execute our plans. And that is what made the second week so much

“We had continuity within our team selection and we
knew what our processes were. And therefore our preparation was accurate and we
could perform. But once again, we haven’t achieved anything as a team. This is
a good start for us but there is still a massive test match next week. 

“We knew it would be tougher after halftime. The wind
kind of picked up in the second half and so we were under a bit of pressure and
they turned us over a couple of times, but once again the character of the side
was phenomenal. We pride ourselves on our defence and you can see that coming
through within the side. We managed to hold them out there, which was
important,” Whiteley added.

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