Cronje: There's no pressure on me

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 08:17

IN THE RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP SPOTLIGHT: After Francois Hougaard's dismal performance against the All Blacks in Albany, Ross Cronje will have a spotlight on him when the Springboks take on the Wallabies in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Cronje missed his side's 0-57 defeat to New Zealand due to a "viral illness". He has since recovered and is set to make a return to the No.9 jersey at the Free State Stadium, where many believe that he will make a big difference. 

"First of all, I would have loved to play that game [in Albany]," said Cronje.

"I love big games like that, I love a challenge. I don't feel that there is pressure on me. It is not an individual sport, it is a team sport and I believe the guys around me will make my life a lot easier [against the Wallabies]. 

"I am excited to be back - the team hasn't been announced yet, but I am just excited to be back in the mix."

The Boks are still hurting after their humiliation in Albany and Cronje said he and his teammates are hungry to show what they are capable of against Australia.

"Obviously we were hurting from that past game, but that is in the past now. 

"We've got to focus on this weekend and we got to go out there and perform. 

"The whole of South Africa expects the Springboks to win and to put a good performance out there. That is what international rugby is about and that is what we intend to do," the 28-year-old scrumhalf added.

If the Boks are to turn things around against the Wallabies they will need to put in a better performance in the set pieces.

Allister Coetzee's side was shocking in that aspect of the game against the All Blacks in Albany, but Cronje believes his forwards will come good in Bloemfontein. 

"I just think it was a bad day at the office. Those things happen.

"If you have a look in the previous games, that [set piece] was our strength and going forward the guys have reevaluated everything. 

"They [forwards] have done a lot of homework in line-outs and scrums and I do believe they are going to fix it this weekend," said Cronje.

By Warren Fortune, in Bloemfontein
@FortuneWarren
@rugby365com

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Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
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Team P W D L Pts
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Australia 6 2 2 2 15
South Africa 6 2 2 1 14
Argentina 6 0 0 6 0