Bok coach Peter de Villiers praised his winning team after they came through an intense RWC Pool match against Samoa in Albany on Friday.
South Africa managed to weather a second-half onslaught from the passionate islanders, but eventually won 13-5 at North Harbour Stadium.
They are now expected to head into an all-Tri-Nations quarter-final with Australia in Wellington next Sunday following an eight-day rest period.
De Villiers was not looking too far ahead just yet though, and praised their Pool opponents for their form and never-say-die attitude in Albany.
“We knew that they would be up for it,” he said.
“Two months ago they beat Australia, who are the Tri-Nations champions, and they gave Wales a good game so we knew they were up to it.
“We always knew they were going to be physical and confrontational. The first half we attacked with everything we could and in the second half our defence never let us down.”
Bryan Habana hobbled from the action during the second period, with De Villiers refraining from comment over how bad the injury is to his wing and other players in the squad.
“We normally give ourselves 24 hours because we want to give an informed opinion so tomorrow we will give an update,” he continued.
“The mood in the changing room is good as guys knew they had to put their body on the line for our country which they did. There were always going to be injuries which was why we brought a lot of experienced guys here.”
On the prospect of facing the Wallabies and their defence of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, the coach concluded that they didn’t arrive at the tournament feeling pressured.
“We never came here to defend anything. We came here to compete on an equal level. The team that won the World Cup four years back, while there might be a lot of the same names it is not the same team,” he explained.
“For us to come here and defend means that we are sitting on something. We knew that this Pool was going to be tough and the teams we played against are high up in the ranking list. We are through it now and it’s all systems go.”
By Adam Kyriacou at North Harbour Stadium