A late penalty goal by Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper saw the hosts edge through for a 28-26 victory on the Gold Coast, but after an honest assessment of the performance by the Springboks on Tuesday morning, Franco Mostert said the team had put the match behind them and were focused on delivering a quality performance at the Suncorp Stadium.
“A lot of guys didn’t expect what happened last weekend, but this is rugby, the ball can bounce either way, and your plan can either work or not,” said Mostert, who played on the blindside flank last weekend, but is equally at home at lock.
“Australia deserve credit for the way they played, they were hungrier than us. But the guys are positive and confident, and we are working hard, so hopefully we can bounce back stronger this weekend.”
Mostert added: “We know where we are, we’ve been here before, and we know what we need to do.”
After scoring three tries to one against the Wallabies, Mostert said there was no need to make drastic changes to their game plan.
“I don’t think we’ll change our plan,” said the tough-as-nails forward, who boasts 45 Test caps.
“What we are doing has worked for us. There are a few things we need to improve on, but the main thing is that we need to sharpen up (our execution), and hopefully things will go our way on Saturday.”
Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids expanded on Mostert’s view that the defeat did not signal doom and gloom for the team, although he admitted that they had to improve this weekend.
“We had an extensive discussion around certain areas of the game in which we thought we needed to do well to get the desired result, and we prepared for that,” said Davids.
“Unfortunately, it was not our best performance, but all credit to the Wallabies. They are a great side, and they used their opportunities.
“We also had opportunities and if we had capitalised them it could have been a different result. But that said, the players looked for solutions throughout the game.
“We’ll take the lessons, and perhaps this week the players will look at the things thrown at them differently, which will hopefully contribute to a better result.”
On a personal note, Mostert was excited about his versatile role in the forward pack where he is equally capable at lock and loose forward, although he admitted that filling Pieter-Steph du Toit’s boots was a big task.
“It has been an amazing journey (from playing lock to covering lock and flank),” said Mostert.
“The players in the squad will wear any number on their back just to be in the team, and part of this tour group.
“I had big boots to fill stepping in for a quality flank such as Pieter-Steph du Toit, but I can only do my best and try to make everyone proud. I had the backing of the coaches too, so it wasn’t tough to make the switch.”
The match kicks off at 17h05 (09h05 SA time) on Saturday and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.