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03 October 2018, by: Thabang Kgeledi


Three weeks ago, The Springboks handed the All Blacks their first loss of the season.

South Africans celebrated like it was 2007 all over again!

South Africa hosts New Zealand on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld in the last game in this year’s Rugby Championship.

As you know, the second movie is never as good as the first. Should we (South Africans) be expecting another Springbok win against the All Blacks after a well-deserved but improbable win against them in New Zealand?

Quick answer; No.

Here’s the deal:

Cool it, before you bite my head off and call me unpatriotic hear me out.

Yup, the Boks played well and deserved to win, but they got bailed out by a few uncharacteristic errors by New Zealand.

Like this loose pass by Anton Lienert-Brown.

…also this ill-advised decision to throw the ball in quickly by Jordie Barrett:

…or this miss of a relatively easy conversion by his older brother Beauden (amongst other kicks he missed in the game I might add).

Trust me, these type of mistakes won’t happen again.

New Zealand hasn’t lost back to back against South Africa since 2009 (01 August 2009 South Africa 31-19 New Zealand, 12 September 2009 South Africa 29-32 New Zealand). Since then, they have won a couple of Rugby World Cups and have averaged 17.4 points win margin over their last 15 victories against the Springboks.

In their 36-34 win over the All Blacks, the Springboks were required to make 235 tackles, while New Zealand were asked to make 61. In last Saturday’s 23-12 win over the Wallabies, the Boks made 144 tackles compared to Australia’s 74.

Former World Cup-winning Springbok Coach Jake White thinks defending till your arms are numb is a brilliant approach. In his column on All Out Rugby, he expressed his affection for South Africa’s defence.

Yes, defence is South Africa’s strength but no team can make double the number of tackles of their opponents match after match and keep on winning. And, was the staunch defence by Rassie Erasmus’ design or was is by necessity?

South Africa has played New Zealand at Loftus Versfeld 9 times since 1970. Their only win against the All Black at the venue came in that 1970 match when the Boks came out 17-6 winners.

In the end, It took an outstanding defence, heart, and a bit of luck to beat the All Blacks in New Zealand.

The All Blacks don’t lose very often so when they do they take it very seriously. They don’t only want to win – they want to annihilate the Springboks in front of their home crowd.

The Boks defence will be tested to a limit this weekend that they might not be able to live with. The level of effort they gave on that particular day in Wellington might be too high to reproduce. The Springboks aren’t the finished article yet and pressure shouldn’t be put on them to repeat the momentous feat.

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