Willemse lived up to the hype after a brilliant first test

Springbok’s utilitarian defender Damian Willemse certainly lives up to the excitement of national team selectors and coaches after a brilliant performance in the first Test match against Wales in Loftus over the weekend. complete the game for his side.

Willemse started the match as a defender, putting in a solid first-half game with some good runs and decent shots, and he was good under the high ball.

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He then switched to flyhalf on the second 40 and improved his game, getting a good linking game while carrying the ball well on the line. He also landed some vital shots on goal, including the winning penalty in the 83rd round.rd minute.

“I thought Damian did a good job. As I said this week, this is a project we have been working on since 2018. Gradually we are giving him more playing time, more experience and more confidence in our system,” said Boca coach Jacques Nienaber.

Damian Willems
Damian Willemse takes the winning penalty for Loftus Versfeld. Photo: Gallo Images

“Last week I said he was probably our next Frans Stein. We think he can be covering 10, 12 and 15. He was supposed to cover 10 and 15 for us today and I think he did it superbly,” added Ninaber.

“I don’t know what his hitting stats are (at the Stormers) but he hit well. I’m happy. “

First half shock

Player Willemse, who was replaced in the second half by Elton Yantjes, shocked a little with his dismal performance in the first half, missing two shots on goal, converting a penalty for a corner and making some pointless shots. -under.

Ninaber, however, went out of her way to explain that Yantsy didn’t get much playing time, arguing that this type of play wasn’t entirely unexpected and would get better as the series continued.

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Elton (pre-Wales) probably played less than 30 minutes this year. He made his shoulder, then went through rehabilitation, and his Japanese club didn’t make it to the final then, so there were no games to put him up, ”said Ninaber.

“The only impact he had all year was in training, so we needed to give him some playing time, and for a guy who has been away for so long, it always takes some time. Luckily for us, he played 40 minutes today, so it was good for us to put him to the rugby test.

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“The plan is that you fire the guy when you feel like he gave everything. We replaced the guys at 32 and 38 minutes early. Once they have done their job and done what we wanted to see, we replace them and appoint someone else,” Ninaber added.

“So you have to take into account that he had very little playing time and he played against Wales, who are a good team. So I think it’s good that he lasted 40 minutes and he’ll be better next week.”