The Boks came out firing in the clash at Stadio Luigi Ferraris, scoring nine tries to two by the Italians – a result that left the coaches and players pleased after two narrow defeats against Ireland and France in their two opening tour games.

“We are very happy with the win,” said Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx, one of the try-scorers in Genoa.

“We obviously displayed what we can do. The last two weeks didn’t go our way, but the way the guys stood up this week was awesome.

"We are happy that there were a few tries. The guys worked hard during the week and we tried to execute as well as possible."

With another big challenge awaiting against England - who came back from 25-6 down with three tries in the final minutes to draw 25-25 with the All Blacks yesterday - Marx said the Italian victory gave Boks’ confidence a boost.

Malcolm Marx and Steven Kitshoff both came off the bench to score second-half tries in Genoa.

Malcolm Marx and Steven Kitshoff both came off the bench to score second-half tries in Genoa.

“But we know there is room for improvement, and we will look at the areas we need to work on going into next week,” added the experienced hooker.

Bok speedster Kurt-Lee Arendse, who scored two tries against Italy and was named Man of the Match for his great all-round performance, was equally delighted with the result.

“We had a plan against them and we stuck to it – I’m really proud of the guys,” said Arendse, who has now scored six tries in as many Tests this year.

“We said we needed energy after the two losses and we certainly brought that on Saturday, and it paid off.”

Afterwards, the former Blitzbok player was very humble about his performance in Genoa, where his first try came inside two minutes: “It was amazing to score and to contribute to the team, but moreso that we could pull through the win. Personally I think there are still a few things I can learn, so I am going to continue trying to do so.”

The star wing adopted a similar view to Marx with an eye on the clash against England and said: “There is still room for improvement, but we are happy with the win. We will go back to the drawing board on Monday and start preparing for what is going to be a tough Test against England.”