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Wounded Bok: 'We like it tough'

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Springboks face a must-win Rugby Championship encounter following their 26-28 defeat to Australia last week.


After a hard-fought 2-1 Test series win over British and Irish Lions, followed by back-to-back Rugby Championship wins over Los Pumas, the defeat came as a huge disappointment for Springboks.

Having missed last Sunday’s fixtures, Trevor Nyakane has been named in the starting XV in aid to restore the Boks’ powerful set-piece.

The World Cup winner replaces Steven Kitshoff, who moves to the bench.

Kitshoff will most likely enter the field after the break for some much-needed fresh legs and power in the pack.

“The set-piece is always something we try to improve on,” Nyakane told reporters during a virtual media briefing.

“Obviously there were a few technical things that happened and it’s a tough situation as two nations are going at each other.


“There were a few things we wanted to work on this week and I think we managed to tick those boxes.

“Obviously some of the things didn’t go our way and we will never be happy about that.

“Nonetheless it is small things we needed to fix and we can’t really point out a single person, it is the whole pack that’s on the field and we worked really hard this week.

“I know it’s going to be a battle but we like it tough. We prefer it like that and we will go hard at it.”


The Boks conceded a couple of scrum penalties last weekend with the most notable being the final scrum of the match where Australia managed to overpower the Boks pack – albeit many believe illegally.

“It hurts us as a pack. It doesn’t matter where or how it happens, for us, we always scrum to be dominant,” Nyakane said.

“Whether that’s a scrum on the halfway line or our own five-metre line, we always thrive to be dominant and get 100 percent scrums – it was tough to see that.”

He added: “We as a team know we have to come back, look at those pictures and try to understand what happened. We have looked at those images and it’s deep in our hearts; it’s sore, it’s buried in the back of our minds.

“We know what they are capable of. We know that they will come at us much harder than they did last week, so we are prepared for that.”

The Boks will also have to end their losing streak at Suncorp Stadium.

The Springboks have only recorded one victory at the venue – a 38-12 win over the Wallabies in 2013.

The last time the Springboks played in Brisbane was in 2018, where Australia recorded a 23-18 victory.

The defeat was embarrassing for Boks, who were coached by SA Rugby Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus that year.

However, it was nothing compared to their biggest defeat, 0-49, in 2006 during the Tri-Nations.

Coached by Jake White, that loss is still the Boks’ heaviest defeat to the Wallabies.

But history has shown that a wounded Bok is dangerous.

In 2018, following their defeat to Australia, many did not give the Boks any chance to bounce back.

However, the Boks recorded a famous 36-34 win in New Zealand.

In 2019 at the World Cup they lost the opening game against All Blacks and went on to win the trophy – a feat no other side have ever accomplished.

And while the defeat to the Wallabies is devastating, this is a timely setback of what needs to be repaired before the much anticipated 100th Test between Springboks and All Blacks on September 25.


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