50th test for Jannie du Plessis

Springbok prop Jannie du Plessis said the landmark of reaching his 50th test match was “surreal” and something that he never imagined in his wildest dreams.

However, he warned that the Springboks would have to improve on their performance during the Eden Park defeat to the All Blacks, where the pack succeeded on an individual rather than a collective level.

“Whether we were 15 or 14 men at some stages of the game, I don’t think we played our best rugby in the last game. We weren’t very clinical and when the odds were against us, I don’t think we knuckled down. We played a bit out of our way and it was a big learning curve for us,” Du Plessis said.

Australia do not seem to have their scrumming issues sorted, but Du Plessis said that Ewen McKenzie’s men were too good a side to be pinned down in one facet. He said the Wallabies have taken time to adjust to the new scrum rules, but that was no reason to look down on them and write them off. There were times South Africa had their own struggles.

“It happened to us as well in 2009 when our pack, which had more or less the same people, people I respected, struggled,” Du Plessis said.

“I recall playing against Leicester, where we really got smashed and people who played in that game were very good players. It’s just a few things that Australia needs to tweak.”

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