Defence must tighten up says Habana

Bryan Habana is hoping that South Africa will rectify the defensive errors made in the first Test against the British and Irish Lions when they take on the tourists in a potential series-decider in Pretoria this week.

The Springbok winger was referring to the way in which the home side let their opponents come back into the game in the closing 12 minutes in Durban.



Peter de Villiers' team were well in front at that stage leading by 19 points, before a flurry of substitutions by the coach, including the withdrawal of captain John Smit three minutes earlier, coupled by a late Lions fightback almost cost them the game.



In the end, they eventually held on to prevail 26-21 and Habana is hoping they will learn from what happened at the Absa Stadium.



"I don't think there was much wrong with our defensive system," he said. "I think there were a couple of times where we made wrong decisions as individuals, myself included.



"And that posed a big question for us in defence where we had to scramble a lot for each other. I think we respected their backs and that's without saying we knew it's going to be a tough task.



"That said, we give ourselves goals and set ourselves certain standards. As backs, maybe we let ourselves down a little bit, putting a little extra pressure on ourselves.



"But like I said, what happened on Saturday was done and dusted there. There were mistakes and as a team we will try and rectify them in this coming week."



The 26-year-old, who will make his 48th Test appearance for South Africa at Loftus Versfeld, insists all that mattered in the series opener was gaining the victory.



He continued: "We'll take the win, whether it was by five points, one point or by 50. The first Test was always going to be vitally important.



"We're professionals and when you get selected to play for the Springboks, no matter where you play, you've got to take responsibility and I definitely feel that we have the calibre of players at the moment to take that responsibility."



By his own high standards Habana had a quiet game going forward on the coast, and has even come in for criticism from some quarters about the way he played.



But the Bulls ace revealed that he was happy with his contribution, saying: "I think when you play Test match rugby and especially when you only have a series every 12 years against the Lions, the most important factor is that you make a contribution towards a successful team.



"I think defensively, I was really happy with where I was on Saturday. Like I say, whether I'm scoring tries or making turnover tackles, I think that's quite important.



"It's always nice to score tries, but I think when you got a series as massively important as this one, then just winning is probably the most important thing.



"It wasn't very nice not getting onto the scoreboard, but the contribution that each and every player made for that 80 minutes was vitally important, whether it was on attack or defence."



Habana, who has scored 32 Test tries since is debut in against England in 2004, is also relishing the return to his provincial home, where the Bulls were recently crowned Super 14 champions.



He added: "Loftus has been really great for me and I really love playing there. It's a special place for me.



"So hopefully I'll be able to do something in the next couple of weeks and go enjoy a possible whitewash, but until that happens, my contribution to the team will be a lot different and we'll see where it goes from there."



News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor