BlunderBoks to rectify Salta slipup
INTERVIEW: Improving their kicking percentages and eliminating the high error rate are the main focus points for the Springboks.
South African face Australia in Round Three of the Rugby Championship in Brisbane on Saturday, with both teams desperate to bounce back from disappointing performances in their most recent outings.
In fact, the Wallabies are on a six-Test losing streak - including 9-29 and 8-42 defeats against the All Blacks - while the Springboks have won three of their last five matches, but lost 24-26 to Argentina in Salta just under a fortnight ago.
Bok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick spoke about the "great frustrations" of not being clinical enough in 2016.
"What we are most guilty of is that we don't capitalise on the opportunities we create," Stick said at the team's training base in Brisbane.
"I have to be honest, with our kicking game we don't have the percentages we are looking for either."
However, not only are the Springboks' own game below par, they are facing the Wallabies in a city where they have won just once in their last 10 outings - a 38-12 triumph in 2013.
Then there was the 2006 humiliation - a 0-49 loss to the Wallabies, which still stands as the biggest loss to Australia and the second biggest defeat ever in Bok history, surpassed only by a 3-53 defeat to England at Twickenham in 2002.
Bok centre Juan de Jongh is one player who does not have fond memories of touring to Australia, having lost on both his previous visits Down Under with the national team.
In July 2010 the Boks lost 13-30 to the Aussies in Brisbane, with De Jongh coming off the replacement bench. A year later South Africa against lost Down Under, 20-39 in Sydney, with De Jongh starting at outside centre.
His only win over the Wallabies was a 31-8 triumph in Pretoria in 2012.
"When you come to Australia it is never an easy match," the De Jongh said.
"I have experienced that [first hand]," he said, adding: "What makes them even more dangerous this week is because they have had a couple of big defeats [against the All Blacks] in recent weeks.
"We are also coming off a loss, so Saturday is going to be a cracker.
"We want to turn it around [after the loss in Salta]."
De Jongh said a good start and a cohesive team effort will be required against the dangerous Aussies.
"We have to rectify all the mistakes we made in Salta," he added.
"We will all have to work extremely hard and cut out those individual mistakes if we want to get a win on Saturday.
"We know they are going to be a very difficult opponent on Saturday, not only because of what is at stake but because of the way they play the game."