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Rugby | Springboks

I'll have to slow down for my wingers - Snyman

It isn’t a surprise that giant Springbok lock RG Snyman has been ribbing his fellow debutants over the past few days after the Springboks’ epic win over England in the first test.

Because while S’bu Nkosi and Aphiwe Dyantyi both stole the limelight with their pace out wide as the Boks stormed back from a horror start to win the game, it was the quieter, larger frame of Snyman who had an equal claim on who had the most impressive debut.

Match statistics show that Snyman made a big 53 metres – most of them from a break from the kickoff in the second half - but that is more than winger Dyantyi, who scored a try, and second in the team overall, with Nkosi’s 106 metres made standing out among the squad.

But it wasn’t just the pace he showed as he galloped downfield that made Snyman’s debut memorable. It was the crucial lineout steal in the 78th minute as well where he rose to win the ball and allow his side to close out a close game with relative ease, that will be remembered.

Snyman also put in 10 tackles, second only to his lock partner Franco Mostert and tied with Nkosi again to underline the workload he took on for himself in the game.

But with the break, Snyman had to laugh afterwards as he wanted to pass to his “speed” as he calls it, but realised there was nobody running off his shoulder at the time.

“I gave them a little bit (of stick). I was giving the two debutant wingers a little trouble. I was looking for my speed out there but it didn’t seem to come. I’ll have to slow down for them next time hey,” Snyman joked this week as he recalled the run.

But Snyman has already shown at Super Rugby level that his speed in the midfield is an asset for any team he plays for and it is no secret that he features in the top 10 offload specialists for the season. If Rassie Erasmus wanted a lock for a mobile game, then Snyman is a perfect fit.

Snyman recalls much of his debut, saying the lineout steal happened in the moment, but is keen now to kick on his career.

“I must say it is a big honour and a privilege to play for the Springboks. Just running out on Ellis Park is a special moment, seeing all those people there to support you. It was a nice match to play in,” he smiles.

“I think it is more an in the moment decision (referring to the lineout). I am really happy it turned out how it did, because we could close out the game from there.

“The first 20 minutes felt like it would never end but after that I’m happy we got it back together. Duane (Vermeulen) had a talk to us behind the posts and we pulled it through nicely.”

Snyman believes England will come back hard at the Boks, and believes they need to be better in the second test.

“I think they’ve also learn the same as we did. They will come back harder this week but so will we, so I’m looking forward to the game,” he added.

“There is still a lot of work for us, I think they got to Faf a bit around the breakdown. There is work left or us there and also in our mauls. We put in a lot of work and we will work harder to establish a platform.”

The Bok team will be chosen on Thursday.


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