AUDIO: Boks 'can win Test matches'
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP BUILD-UP: The All Blacks are on the verge of wrapping up the Rugby Championship with two games to spare when they face a struggling Springbok side in Wellington on Saturday.
The world champions start as heavy favourites with the once ferocious battles between New Zealand and South Africa becoming a fading memory.
The All Blacks have won 11 of their last 12 encounters, including the last six by an average margin of 23 points.
While the Boks head into the contest from back-to-back defeats to Argentina and Australia.
The All Blacks go into the Test with a maximum 15 points from three games and South Africa are second with six points with Australia and Argentina on four.
A bonus-point win would seal a third straight title for New Zealand, who have won 15 of the 22 southern hemisphere championships since 1996.
Despite the pressure, captain Siya Kolisi remains positive. The 27-year-old stated that last year’s narrow 24-25 defeat to the All Blacks at Newlands gives him hope that the Boks possessed the skills to produce a similar performance.
“We are in the same position as last year (from the back of the 0-57 defeat to the All Blacks) and went out there and gave it our all.
“Unfortunately we lost by one point but left the field with no regrets,”
“And this weekend we have to do the same,”
Kolisi said the Springboks had learned from the mistakes made in their losses to Argentina and Australia, and how they fared against the All Blacks would be a measure of how much they had improved.
“We have to make sure we get better every week. I think we can win Test matches if we just minimise individual errors and utilise the opportunities.
“We create such a lot of opportunities and we’re not finishing… we do all the hard work getting to the 22 and then we’ll make a mistake, losing the ball or knock on the ball or just turn over the ball,”
“Furthermore, The All Blacks have a strong and experiences forward pack, thus it’s important for us as the pack to do out the job and set a proper platform for our backline.
“Our backs just need a fair opportunity to excel.
“Think there’s no better Test for you as a player, than to play against the best in the world.
“I know the guys are excited about this game and we are going to give it our best shot on Saturday. Playing the All Blacks is always something special,”
AFP & rugby365com