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'We’ve been here before': Mostert backs Boks to bounce back

Utility forward says the team knows how to overcome setbacks

16 September 2021 - 10:18 By Liam Del Carme
Franco Mostert takes a lineout ball during the Rugby Championship match against the Wallabies at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast.
Franco Mostert takes a lineout ball during the Rugby Championship match against the Wallabies at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast.
Image: Matt Roberts/Getty Images

Being with their backs to the wall is not unfamiliar territory for the Springboks.

It is for that reason Bok utility forward Franco Mostert believes the team will bounce back from the disappointment of a tour-opening Rugby Championship loss to Australia in Gold Coast last weekend.

Much was been expected of the Springboks, who were hoping to break an eight-year winless drought on Australian soil, but they erred and blundered at crucial stages in an agonising 28-26 defeat.

The defeat means they will have to win their remaining matches in the competition, one against Australia and two against the All Blacks, to have any chance of defending their title successfully.

Mostert believes, however, they can again invoke the spirit that saw them rebound from defeat in the opening round of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and the first Test against the British & Iris Lions earlier this year.

We’ve been here before
Bok forward Franco Mostert

“We know where we are, we’ve been here before, and we know what we need to do,” reassured the rangy forward.

Besides, the Boks created enough points-scoring opportunities and will fancy their chances of again breaching the Australian defences. The tourists outscored their hosts by three tries to one last week.

“I don’t think we’ll change our plan. 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, and hopefully things will go our way on Saturday.”

They will also have to play with greater composure than they did last week. The Boks went into the game favourites, but as has been the case for much of the last decade, the crafty and resourceful Wallabies found ways of knocking the visitors out of their stride.

“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,” said Mostert.

“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.”