The Springboks come off a disappointing run of results following back-to-back defeats against the Wallabies and a last-gasp 19-17 loss against the All Blacks last week, but Steven Kitshoff (prop) and Handre Pollard (flyhalf) were pleased with the effort the players were putting in at training as they look to bounce back strongly this week.
“Our preparation has been good,” said Kitshoff.
“We’d like to build on a dominant performance we had last weekend. New Zealand will rock up and they’ll fix the mistakes they made in the set pieces, so we know an incredible challenge lies ahead.
“Malcolm (Marx), Vincent (Koch) and I know how important it is to put in a quality performance late in the match to maintain scrum and set piece dominance and to work off the platform that the starting front row gives us.
“We know how significant this match is, and we’ll do everything we can to ensure that we pitch up and put on a good display that would make our fans, our country and our team-mates proud.”
Kitshoff added: “We back our style of play, our physical presence and our leaders, so we have full confidence in this team, and we believe we can win big matches.”
Pollard said while the team were disappointed about their results in their last three matches, there was no lack of self-belief or confidence in the squad.
“Of course, one would think losing a few matches in a row would dent your confidence, but we believe in our processes and we get a lot of confidence from our preparation, one another and our plan,” said Pollard.
“Every weekend we go out there and try to execute the plan to the best of our ability.
“The intent, training and preparation is the same for us each week, the results are just not going our way. But we’ll give our all on Saturday as we do every weekend.”
Kitshoff said attention to detail was the key for the forwards at training this week.
“As a pack of forwards, we are focussing on the execution of our lineouts and mauls, and our other strengths which we would really like to nail down this week,” said Kitshoff.
“There are some fine details we want to sort out so that we can apply pressure and build an innings to have a positive outcome this weekend.”
Pollard, in turn, zoomed in on their kicking game and said: “We have a specific soul and DNA in this team, in which we believe we are the best at, and we trust we systems and our plan.
“The aerial contest is an area of the match in which we feel we are the best in the world and it’s something we’ll keep working hard at and keep on doing going forward.”
The match at the CBUS Super Stadium kicks off at 20h05 (12h05 SA time) and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.