AUDIO: Boks need to wake up

Sat, 30 Sep 2017 05:00

LISTEN TO AUDIO: Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth knows that his side will have to be more accurate in the basics of the game if they are to beat an improving Wallabies team in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The Boks were poor in the set pieces a fortnight ago when they got thrashed 0-57 to the All Blacks in Albany. 

While they got dominated on occasions in the scrums, it is the line-outs that were most concerning for the Boks as they overcomplicate things against the Kiwis without success. 

"It [line-outs] didn't go that well, but that is the thing we worked on this week and we will definitely be better at it this weekend," said Etzebeth.

The captain said there was no single person to blame for their performance in the line-outs in Albany. 

"I think we as forwards just said it is a combined thing. 

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"It is just not one guy calling or one guy lifting. It just didn't work on the day. We are not pointing fingers at anyone, we just want to be better," he added.

A good start in Saturday's clash in Bloemfontein could be crucial in determining the winner and Etzebeth said that will be the target for his side.

"We always look to start well. We want to go out firing in those first 10 minutes and we must just go from job to job, minute to minute and do our thing on the field," said Etzebeth.

With the All Blacks set to lift the Rugby Championship once again, second place is the only thing to play for. However, that is still a motivator for Etzebeth and his team.

"It [a win] is very important. We are also playing for the Mandela Cup, which we would like to win, so it is very important to win this one and we would like to end second in this year's Championship," he said.

Meanwhile, South African athletics star Wayde van Niekerk presented the Springboks with their matchday jerseys on the eve of their Rugby Championship Test against the Wallabies

Van Niekerk, the 400m world record holder and Olympic champion, delivered a short and inspirational message to the team.

"We as sportspeople sometimes don't realise the impact we have on ordinary people," the soft-spoken athletics star said afterwards.

"South Africans are sports loving people and they look to the Springboks for inspiration. I am a huge Springbok fan myself and to find myself amongst these guys in the middle of the Springbok team room was just an unbelievable and humbling experience.

"My short message to them was to go out there and play the game to the best of their ability – they have done their homework and they know what to do," said Van Niekerk. His coach Ans Botha has the honour of being the SA flag bearer tomorrow.

By Warren Fortune, Bloemfontein

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