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Springboks looking to refresh Rugby Championship campaign against the All Blacks

21 September 2021 - 09:56
Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids is expecting a tough match from the All Blacks on Saturday.
Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids is expecting a tough match from the All Blacks on Saturday.
Image: EJ Langner/Gallo Images

Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids says the defence will be in the spotlight when they face the rampant All Blacks in the Rugby Championship in Townsville on Saturday.

The Boks missed 40 tackles in the two successive defeats to Australia in the Gold Coast and Brisbane recently, which led to the South Africans relinquishing their top spot on the World Rugby rankings, 

While the Boks are still smarting from those defeats at the hands of the Wallabies, the All Blacks are on a four-match winning run after two wins each over Australia and Argentina to maintain their position at the top of the Rugby Championship.

“You have to look objectively at in terms of when and where the tackles were made and why they happened,” said Davids when asked to explain how they are going to improve their backline.

“Obviously we always look at whether it was system error, we always assess if it was a technical error or whether it was just lack of effort. Sometimes in games it also happens that you lose a player to a yellow card and that also puts a bit of pressure on the system.

“At this point in time we are looking at ourselves in depth and I think there is an understanding in terms of what we can do better, and we also understand the threat that the All Blacks will bring. It is important as a team to ensure that from a system and individual perspective, we are on par to put up a better performance in this game.”

Over their last two convincing victories over Argentina, the All Blacks have scored ten tries and Davids said they must be at their very best to avoid a similar fate.

“It is important that you always look objectively in terms of your performance from the previous week. I think high-performance experience at this level teaches you that you have to take emotions  out of your game as quickly as possible and start looking objectively in terms of your plan.

“It is also important to stay in the task in terms of the next challenge. For us, we will be the first to admit that we didn’t perform up to the required standard against Australia last weekend.

“We have looked at those reasons, we have had in-depth discussions about it and this is a new opportunity of playing against a quality side like New Zealand over the next two weeks and all the players are looking forward to that.

“We know that we can’t dwell on what happened in the past. What is important for us is it to focus on what we need to do and where we need to improve and the players want to put up better performances.”

Davids also revealed that they have no serious injury worries with all the players back on the training field.

“All the players were able to train.

“A guy like Lood de Jager, who had concussion, is back in training. Cheslin Kolbe has returned to training, he is busy getting ready and is being assessed accordingly. But the whole squad is available for selection.”