This was reiterated on Tuesday when Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick and Lukhanyo Am (centre) addressed the media in Buenos Aires, where South Africa have based themselves in the build-up towards the crunch match on Saturday, which will be televised live on SuperSport from 21h40 (SA time).
Am has established himself in the Springbok midfield alongside Jesse Kriel and Damian de Allende, while the experienced Frans Steyn is also back in the squad, creating healthy competition amongst the backs.
The Springboks have a good opportunity to clinch the Castle Lager Rugby Championship title for the first time since 2009, but the soft-spoken Am was quick to add that the team won’t be distracted by focussing too much on winning silverware.
Am said preparations have been going well so far since they arrived in the bustling Argentinean capital over the weekend, where the Boks have enjoyed pleasant training weather.
“Playing away against Argentina is always a tough game, but from our side, we’ve prepared as well as we can based on what we’ve seen from them in their previous two games,” explained Am.
“Winning the Championship would be a great opportunity for us, but we don’t want to focus too much on it because it is another Test that gives the squad the opportunity to build towards the big picture of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
“There’s pressure in every Test match you play; however, if there is pressure then it is only good pressure.”
Reflecting on the Pumas, whom he faced in Mendoza last year, Am said: “They are quite a physical side and they like to keep possession, with linking play between the forwards and the backs. It will be exciting to play Argentina here in their own backyard.”
Stick said he was part of the Bok side that tasted defeat in Salta in 2016, and reiterated the challenge will not be anything different this time around.
“They’re a very good side and if you look at the balance in the team, you will see they’ve got forwards that compliments their backs in the way that they play,” said Stick.
“And then they also have that physicality especially in the midfield, as they’ve showed in Vodacom Super Rugby this year, where the Jaguares played so well to reach the final.
“However, we just want to focus on our processes as a team so that we can ensure we get better Test by Test.”
The Springboks continued their preparations on Tuesday at the San Isidro Rugby Club on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. The team to play on Saturday will be named on Wednesday evening (SA time).