Home Sport Boks have one objective – win

Boks have one objective – win


All eyes will be on Cape Town on Saturday as the two sides will battle it out to emerge victorious in what has been a tight series.

Steven Kitshoff will look to make an impact off the bench at Newlands. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

THE SPRINGBOKS are desperate to win the Incoming Series tie-breaker in Cape Town on Saturday, but they need no reminding that Wales are too.

The Boks and the Welsh Dragons are level after the hosts bagged the win in the opening Test in Pretoria, while the Welsh returned the favour in Bloemfontein last week as they went on to secure their first win in South Africa in 12 attempts.

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All eyes will be on Cape Town on Saturday as the two sides will battle it out to emerge victorious in what has been a tight series.

Speaking during a media engagement this week, loosehead prop Steven Kitshoff said that the team members are clear on one thing – getting the win is non-negotiable.

“It is about doing the same amount of work during the week, making sure that my ducks are in a row so that I can perform on the weekend and I think it is similar to the team and how the guys are feeling in camp,” he said.

“We understand the importance of this game, we understand how important it is for Wales – we need to get a win.”

The World Cup-winner is hoping that the Cape Town Stadium pitch holds up when the two packs meet, and for good reason.

The surface has proven problematic in the past due to the way it lifts.

Some of the Welsh players would remember the mission that scrummaging became from when the British & Irish Lions faced the Boks in Cape Town last year, while the South Africans will have a much clearer memory of the issue seeing as the Stormers met the Bulls in the United Rugby Championship (URC) Grand Final at the same ground almost exactly one month ago.

“We haven’t played there in three or four weeks or so, so I’m not 100% sure what the surface looks like, but with the URC it was a bit slippery and certain areas of the field were not in great shape,” the URC-winning captain said. “But we were promised by the ground-keepers there that they would fix the surface and hopefully it holds up very nicely this weekend.”

Wales had a couple of injury concerns earlier this week, with winger Alex Cuthbert having been ruled out with injury and question marks over the fitness of captain Dan Biggar and prop Dillon Lewis.

While both Biggar and Lewis were named in the starting line-up on Thursday, Kitshoff said Wales’ injury worries would have made no difference to the quality of their pack, regardless.

“Wales have a good set-piece and good scrum. You could see in the second half in Bloemfontein that they gained dominance in certain scrums.

“I still think it’s going to be a tough battle when it comes to set pieces and hopefully the surface holds up nicely for both teams to have a full go at each other. Even with their injuries, I still think that they have a quality pack.”

Discipline will be crucial in the decider, and with the Boks having conceded some unnecessary penalties, Kitshoff underlined the importance of getting it right when they pack down.

“From the referee’s point of view, they want to get the game going but you have to have clear dominance within the laws. You have to go through the middle, go straight and any collapse the referee will tend to allow the game to go on.

“As a pack of forwards we want to push straight we want to have clear dominance to earn the penalty. We don’t want to really take corners or walk around the scrums, we want to go through the middle and if it is a clear picture we want the reward for it.”

Springboks (15-1): Damian Willemse, Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handré Pollard, Jaden Hendrikse, Jasper Wiese, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (captain), Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Trevor Nyakane. Bench (16-23): Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Franco Mostert, Kwagga Smith, Elrigh Louw, Faf de Klerk, Willie le Roux

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