The Springboks will continue to stay positive and focus on cutting out the small errors which have proved costly in their Castle Lager Rugby Championship campaign, No 8 Warren Whiteley said on Monday.
The South Africans arrived in Christchurch in the early hours of Monday morning, where they will play the All Blacks in their fourth Castle Lager Rugby Championship Test of the 2016 campaign.
Although the Springboks suffered a 23-17 defeat at the hands of the Wallabies on Saturday in Brisbane, the performance in Australia was an improvement on their previous showing in Salta according to Whiteley, who addressed the media along with Bok coach Allister Coetzee on Monday afternoon.
The No 8 said the Springboks realise they have to cut out the errors which have hampered their winning chances against Argentina and the Wallabies. He said the entire team and management are working hard to rectify the errors, and added he and his team mates were looking forward to the Test in Christchurch.
“There is a lot of work that’s been done to help us to reduce the errors, and we realise we have to do that when you play against the in-form side in the world at the moment,” said Whiteley.
Whiteley said the prospects of playing the All Blacks on their home turf was daunting and exciting: “As a player you want to test yourself against the best in the world. There’s a great rivalry and tradition between the two countries and we have some players in our squad who will face them the first time.
“However, we are keen to address the finer details and to play much better as a team. As a squad we are positive and we will work hard this week to prepare for the weekend’s huge challenge,” said Whiteley.
The Springboks did some drills in a local gymnasium on Monday afternoon as part of their match recovery. The squad will have a field training session at the Clearwater Resort on Tuesday afternoon and the team announcement is set for Wednesday at 19h00 (SA time).
Meanwhile, Coetzee said Faf de Klerk (scrumhalf) and Johan Goosen (fullback) were both fine after their respective knocks against the Wallabies. “They are both good to go for our training this week. As a group we know where we have to improve, and that’s where the focus are at this moment,” said Coetzee.
Willem Alberts, who was called up as injury-replacement for Lood de Jager, will join the squad on Tuesday following his flight Down Under from France.