Sports correspondent Wynona Louw looks at three performances the Springboks need more of to beat the All Blacks, and two to improve on.
Cape Town — Three performances to copy and paste, two to replace …
This can’t often be said, but for once, there is a vibe that the All Blacks are feeling the heat ahead of their mini Series against South Africa.
After a historic Series loss to Ireland, they should be feeling it, and chances are good that they are.
The Springboks will face the All Blacks in consecutive Tests in Nelspruit on August 6 and Johannesburg on August 13.
Following that, they travel to Australia for a double meeting with the Wallabies. They then meet the Pumas away, before returning home to end their campaign against the Argentinians in Durban.
After their Incoming Series victory over Wales and the Rugby Championship around the corner, here are three players who will want to replicate their recent performances and two who should be looking to make the step-up.
Performances to copy and paste:
The Stormers star was next-level influential for his franchise in their remarkable United Rugby Championship campaign, and he followed that up with an even more impressive run for the national side. He was absolutely brilliant for the hosts against Wayne Pivac’s team.
Resilience, maturity, physicality, composure, authority and some touches of flair were all generously dished up by the baller, and after stepping up when it was most needed in his latest Tests, he just needs to continue doing what he’s been doing against under-fire Ian Foster’s group.
The Sharks talent was one of the most pleasing aspects in the Boks’ 2-1 Series win, and he will lack no motivation to keep at it come the Kiwis and the rest of their competition.
As Bok head coach Jacques Nienaber said during the Series – Faf de Klerk will fight for that No.9 jersey, and that should serve as some extra fuel for the new-to-the-Test arena Hendrikse.
His execution and overall hustle against Wales was impressive, and possibly going up against and measuring his efforts against one of the game’s finest will be invaluable for his growth.
This man is so consistently potent that top performances from him have become almost standard.
He reached his 100th Test in perfect fashion as he produced a Man of the Match performance, and the incomparable second-row behemoth will no doubt be a key presence against the New Zealanders.
Performances to replace:
While he was better in the decider in Cape Town, the Bok flyhalf was still far from his best.
From his place-kicking to overall control on the game, he just needs to be better.
Faf de Klerk
The World Cup-winner can win you games, but he’s not on the level that made him the No.1 No.9 at one stage.
With such enviable depth in that role, De Klerk will need no reminding that it’s a constant competition, and that’s something that could be greatly beneficial to not only him, but the team as a unit.