That objective was rather carelessly squandered at the death but instead of dwelling on it, Frans Ludeke’s men can focus on the next best thing – their handling of the defending champions should be a good dress rehearsal for their tour opener against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.
“The weekend’s game definitely helped,” said Ludeke.
“All the New Zealand sides adopt a positive mindset and favour a strong attacking game. That said, I do think the Hurricanes play a bit more of a tactical game, but they definitely still like to look after the ball and carry it from deep.
“To be honest, I think the overall challenge will remain the same throughout the tour.”
This year’s edition has particularly highlighted teams’ willingness to invest much of their energy into being formidable at home and the consequent daunting task that awaits visitors.
Veteran Victor Matfield, above, as a result implored his team-mates to revive their habit of producing overseas victories.
“It’s important not to focus too much on a target. We’ll prefer taking it week-by-week but there’s no doubt that we need wins over there. If you want to win this competition, you need to finish first or second on the table. And the only way to do that is to win everywhere, not just at home,” he said.
“We’ll need to squeeze out some results. I think this year has really shown what a challenge touring is for all the sides.”
Regular captain Flip van der Merwe, sidelined the past two weeks with a hamstring problem, has been cleared to tour, whilst the rest of the group is in good health.