Fassi made a strong statement and showed that he can produce the goods at the highest level as he darted down the left sideline to score the first of the Springboks’ six tries in the fourth minute, and he later proved instrumental in creating Cobus Reinach’s try thanks to a stunning chip kick, which paved the way for the nippy scrumhalf to cruise to the try-line.
The 23-year-old utility back was modest about his first performance in the green and gold and said: “I saw some space in front of me and my first instinct was to back myself and go for the try.
“The coaches gave us the confidence during the week to back ourselves and finish off the opportunities, and all I was thinking about was to finish off the try.”
After kicking off his provincial career in a similarly impressive fashion with a try on debut for the Cell C Sharks, Fassi said: “When I played my first Carling Currie Cup game the same thing happened and I did visualise it, but I didn’t think it would happen (at the Springboks).
“Everything just happened so quickly, and I decided to back my instincts and ability to so. It is something I’ll cherish for a long time.
“I am very proud to represent my country, it’s every young players’ dream and I’ve had the honour and privilege to do so, which I am extremely proud about. It’s good to be in the system.”
Springbok Rugby World Cup winning lock Franco Mostert was delighted with the victory after a 20-month hiatus from Test rugby, although he admitted it would take time for the team to build the cohesion and form that earned them the title as World Champions in Japan in 2019.
"Personally, I think it is going to take a while (to get that level),” said Mostert.
“But I have to take my hat off to the forwards. I think they really did the job. I’m happy with our first match. But we have a lot to work on (before the Castle Lager Lions Series). We still have another match against Georgia next week.”
Commenting on the areas they could improve on, the towering lock said: “There are a lot of things to work on. We haven’t been together in more than a year, and the new guys stepped up and they are all in the system now, so everyone is on the same page.
“We have another test to go next week and hopefully we can improve a lot.”
Mostert gave the Georgians credit for their fighting spirit early in the match.
“They were solid in the first 30 minutes and their defence was very good, so there are a lot of work-ons for us, such as our carries and tackle technique - but luckily we have time to prepare for our next game," he said.
The Springboks will line up against Georgia at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Friday, 9 July, in the second Test before embarking on their 2021 Castle Lager Lions Series campaign. The players had Saturday off to rest and recuperate following the physical encounter and will return to the training field on Sunday.