It’s a new weekend with new opponents and new players in the team, but the Springboks will want to build on the spectacular performance against the Wallabies when they cross swords with the All Blacks in Auckland on Saturday.
“We have enough depth in our squad which allowed us to send players to New Zealand earlier to acclimatise. But the guys showed us how it’s done last week and we’ll have to pull our socks up to stay at that level,” said Faf de Klerk.
The blond scrumhalf, who along with Damian Willemse fills the shoes of Cobus Reinach and Damian Willemse on Saturday, knows that the South Africans cannot afford to lie down.
Especially not against a dangerous team like the All Blacks.
“The biggest challenge that awaits us is the fact that the All Blacks can make something out of nothing. We cannot rest on our laurels. We will have to be up and alert at all times because New Zealand are going to punish you on the scoreboard when you lose concentration.”
Voglens De Klerk, the All Blacks are the yardstick against which other teams measure their progress.
“They are a world-class team and if we come up with a solid performance against them, we know that the team is in a good place (in the run-up to the World Cup).”
A flying Kurt-Lee Arendse together with Manie Libbok, André Esterhuizen and Wille le Roux provided loads of hitting power against the Wallabies and it will be interesting if this Bok team will follow a similar approach.
Jacques Nienaber, Springbok coach, said on Tuesday that good defense plays a decisive role against the All Blacks.
“New Zealand has a strong pack of forwards and dangerous backs. They showed just last week (against Argentina) what they can do when they have enough space on the field. We will undoubtedly have to fire on all pistons and our defense will have to be rock solid.”