Bok lock Du Toit sees positives in Oz draw
Allister Coetzee's charges need to maintain their unbeaten record
Springbok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit said the intense internal competition at his position has brought out the best in him and played a part in his powerful performance during the 23-all draw against the Wallabies.
Du Toit started his first Test this year as Lions lock Franco Mostert took ownership of the number five jersey through his showings at the Lions on Saturday.
In Super Rugby matches between the Lions and the Stormers, Mostert often got the better of Du Toit, which boded well for the Boks as quality lineout depth is crucial against a team like the All Blacks.
Crusaders lock Sam Whitelock is one of the best lineout exponents in the world and his Chiefs counterpart Brodie Retallick is the quiet, yet efficient operator who gets through the hard yards that make life easier for the rest of the All Black pack.
While the Springboks pack was dominant in all facets against the Wallabies, the New Zealand pack will pose different questions.
One will be the Boks' lineout efficiency and the scrum in Coenie Oosthuizen's injury-enforced absence.
The Boks will test the All Black fringe defence that has sorely missed Jerome Kaino's physicality even though Liam Squire and Vaea Fifita have been reasonably good replacements.
"Good competition gets the best out of you and when we're in training, we always look at who is the fastest and who is the strongest, but in a good way. A guy like Franco is often one of the fastest and the fittest. It's always a good thing to compare myself against him but I also don't want to get lost while I'm comparing myself with other players," Du Toit said.
Though coach Allister Coetzee saw the draw as a loss because of the missed opportunities, Du Toit said their positive team culture allowed them to dwell on the positives.
They've yet to lose a Test this year even though a stern All Black Test awaits at the North Harbour Stadium in Albany on Saturday.
The Boks are enjoying their rugby this year but they still need to add composure and patience to their blend of measured attacking rugby.
"It means a lot to have won five games even though the draw is a bit of a difficult one to deal with," Du Toit said.