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Bok pivot Pollard calls for 80-minute performance against All Blacks

Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard during their press conference at Southern Sun Emnotweni in Mbombela on August 3 2022.
Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard during their press conference at Southern Sun Emnotweni in Mbombela on August 3 2022.
Image: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

Handré Pollard has asked for an 80-minute performance from the Springboks in their Rugby Championship clash against the All Blacks at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.

The vastly experienced flyhalf said SA need to function as individuals and a team until the last minute if they are to beat old foes New Zealand.

“Everyone has their own role to play in the team and every department must function well,” he said.

“We have good plans and we have had a good week of preparation and now it is about pitching up on Saturday for 80 minutes. Individual players must make sure they execute in their areas and we must stay unified as a team and stay in the fight for 80 minutes.”

Pollard will be up against Beauden Barrett or Richie Mo’unga and he is relishing the opportunity of pitting his wits against whoever gets the nod at flyhalf for the visitors.

 “I don’t think as a team they will change a lot regardless who plays at number 10 between Barrett or Mo’unga. They both have different style of play and have the ex-factor thing about them, Barrett’s speed is unbelievable and he’s got a lot of experience which is great for them.

“Mo’unga is getting more Test caps and he is more of a threat with ball in hand, footwork and stuff like that. It is Test match rugby and not Super Rugby — we will try to contain them as much as we can. They have 15 threats on the field and we won’t be focusing on individuals.

“The one thing you don’t want to give them is time on the ball. Every kick and what type of kick is important but we have a good plan and it comes down to execution.”

The All Blacks arrived in the country under tremendous pressure after losing their home series to Ireland last month and Pollard says they remain dangerous because of experience in the team.

“They are incredibly dangerous where they are as a group and it is going to be a very tough. We have two opportunities to beat them but let’s see the first 80 minutes on Saturday.”

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