Boks have been here before says Mostert
SPOTLIGHT: Springbok forward Franco Mostert says his team is in a familiar position after their Rugby Championship Round Three loss to the Wallabies on Sunday.
The 26-28 defeat means the Springboks will likely have to win their three remaining games in the competition to retain the title they won in 2019.
It is not dissimilar to when they lost the opening game of the Rugby World Cup in Japan to New Zealand and were left needing victories in their next six fixtures to lift the trophy.
They also lost the first Test to the British & Irish Lions in July after which they had to win the next two to claim the series.
They managed to pull it off on both occasions, and Mostert said they can use that experience against Australia on Saturday, and for their last two games against the All Blacks.
“A lot of guys didn’t expect what happened last weekend, but this is rugby, the ball can bounce either way, and your plan can either work or not,” Mostert told reporters during an online media briefing on Tuesday.
“Australia deserve credit for the way they played, they were hungrier than us. But the guys are positive and confident, and we are working hard, so hopefully, we can bounce back stronger this weekend.”
Mostert added: “We know where we are, we’ve been here before, and we know what we need to do.”
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The 30-year-old, who covers blindside flank and lock, said there is no need for drastic changes to the Boks’ game plan.
“I don’t think we’ll change our plan,” he added.
“What we are doing has worked for us. There are a few things we need to improve on, but the main thing is that we need to sharpen up [our execution], and hopefully things will go our way on Saturday.”
‘I had big boots to fill’
Mostert admitted that filling Pieter-Steph du Toit’s boots in the No.7 role was a big task.
“It has been an amazing journey [from playing lock to covering lock and flank],” said Mostert.
“The players in the squad will wear any number on their back just to be in the team, and part of this tour group.
“I had big boots to fill stepping in for a quality flank such as Pieter-Steph du Toit, but I can only do my best and try to make everyone proud. I had the backing of the coaches too, so it wasn’t tough to make the switch.”
Additional sources: AAP