Since the Springboks recorded a surprise victory over the All Blacks in Wellington three weeks ago, it’s been the question on all South African rugby fans’ lips: can the Boks do it again on home soil?
The Springboks this afternoon at Loftus have the opportunity to show their Wellington victory – their first win over the All Blacks since 2014 at Ellis Park – was no fluke, and they have turned the corner, less than a year out from the 2019 World Cup.
It won’t be easy. The All Blacks don’t often lose to the same nation back-to-back. In fact, they seldom lose. They’ve also got a really good record against the Boks at Loftus, losing just once in five Test matches – and that defeat was way back in 1970.
As euphoric as the Wellington win was, South Africans need to be honest and admit sheer guts and commitment pulled them through as the All Blacks controlled the majority of the Test.
The All Blacks held three-quarters of the possession, scored more tries and only missed 12 tackles to the Springboks’ 39.
South Africa had to make a staggering 235 tackles to the Kiwis’ 61.
But Test matches aren’t won on statistics alone, and the Boks managed to hold on for a historic victory.
They also backed up that triumph with a solid victory over Australia in Port Elizabeth last week, so Rassie Erasmus’ men are brimming with confidence as they face their old foes.
Even All Black coach Steve Hansen is not taking them lightly ahead of today’s showdown.
“The Boks have grown another arm and a leg since they knocked us over and I thought they played really well against Australia,” said Hansen. “They’ll be looking forward to fronting up again on Saturday.”
The crowd will firmly be behind the Boks at Loftus. It’s time to deliver.