All Blacks flanker Sam Cane confirmed a fear held by South African rugby fans ever since the South African Rugby Union (Saru) awarded the Springboks’ Test against the New Zealanders to Newlands earlier this year.
“We feel pretty lucky to be here,” said the powerful 25-year-old.
“Cape Town is probably the one location in South Africa where the boys look forward to playing at. Personally, Newlands is starting to feel like a home away from home. I’ve been here about five times in the last two years with the Chiefs in Super Rugby. Most of the guys have played here at some point.”
Given that the Springboks’ prospects already look bleak on Saturday following their massive 57-0 loss in Albany, they hardly need the rampant world champions to feel comfortable at the venue.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) October 2, 2017
At least playing at Ellis Park would’ve meant the All Blacks had to deal with the altitude factor as well as a guaranteed hostile reception.
But in the Cape the visitors can pretty much bank on substantial support as a large chunk of the non-white population traditionally support them for historical and political reasons.
“The support certainly helps,” said Cane with a chuckle.
“To be honest, it’s actually quite crazy. We see them everywhere, at the airport, hotel and even when we go to Camps Bay for some lunch. They’re good people and they’re pretty passionate about rugby.”
It all seems to lay the platform for yet another long, dark day for the Springboks on the field.
However, Cane is adamant the hosts can turn the match into an “arm-wrestle”.
“We’re very much in touch with the rich history between the two teams and how tough it’s been. There are such small margins involved and you only need a few things to go your way. If the Springboks can take their early opportunities, it’s going to be very difficult to overturn that.”