Boks not going mental in Brisbane
Boks not going mental in BrisbaneSHARE
Brisbane may be one of South Africa's biggest hoodoo cities, but Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is adamant his team can avoid all the off-field distractions.
South Africa and Australia go head-to-head in Round Three of the Rugby Championship on Saturday in what will be a decisive weekend for the tournament.
Despite having never won at the Suncorp Stadium and having last won in Brisbane back in 1971 – when the Boks beat the Wallabies 14-6 at the Exhibition Ground – Meyer is adamant past results will not be a factor in his team's build-up this week.
"I am not sure what the record is," was Meyer's initial response when asked about their winless run at the Suncorp Stadium.
"We don't want to focus on that," he told a media scrum in Brisbane, as South Africa stepped up their preparation for Saturday's showdown.
"It was the first time we won in Soweto and in Mendoza and records are there to be broken," the Bok mentor said of his table-topping team's victories against Argentina in the opening weeks of the Rugby Championship.
"I don't want to sound arrogant, but it is just another game."
He added that it is always very tough against the Wallabies and they respect the opposition for the big threat the Aussies pose.
"In the last six games [against Australia] we won only one and that was the last one," Meyer said of the 31-8 victory in Pretoria last year.
"However, you can't look at the negatives, because then you shift your focus.
"I truly believe in positive mental energy – it makes it more of a challenge, gets you more motivated and makes it more exciting.
"You have to be mentally tough.
"I see it as a great challenge, plus we need to focus on what we want to do.
"At the end of the day it is just another field and another game."
Meyer said he has been greatly encouraged by what he has seen from his team this year.
However, he again struck a cautious tone.
"I don't believe we are there yet," the Bok coach said, adding: " It is [only] our second year together.
"However, we have already made a huge step up from last year, I believe.
"Games like this are always tough and it is always tough away from home, no matter which team you play.
"If you want to win those [away] games you have to be very, very clinical.
"It is not just about getting excited, being emotionally there and being psyched up.
"In years gone by that probably worked.
"Now, in the modern game, defensive systems are near unbreakable.
"The set pieces from both sides are great and they [Australia] have played some great rugby.
"It is a case of being very focussed and executing the game plan, while also absorbing the pressure.
"I do believe we have grown, but it does not matter what happened before [this season]. All that matters is what is going to happen in that [the next] 80 minutes on the field."