Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | Springboks

Boks out to show what they're capable of

“The time has come for this Springbok team to show the rest of the world just what they are capable of.”

That is the message from Springbok captain Jean de Villiers as he mapped out exactly what he wants to see from his side as they prepare to face their destiny in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship showdown against the World Champion All Blacks at Ellis Park.

While much of the focus this week has been on whether or not the Springboks can still win the championship – they need to score four tries and deny New Zealand any sort of bonus point in winning on Saturday – De Villiers sees the game more as a continuation of the process that started 18 months ago under coach Heyneke Meyer.

And while it is a massive game for the Springboks, they simply want to show South Africa – and the rest of the rugby world – what they are capable of.

Saturday’s challenge presents a massive task for the team, but they know if they can cross the hurdle of beating the All Blacks, it will be the perfect cap on a very successful season thus far.

“It’s a big game. Even before the previous one at Eden Park we knew that. I think we as a team we know where we are going, what we want to achieve. We know where we are as a squad, and it is time we showed what we are capable of,” De Villiers said.

“I think the hard work has been done now. We’ve been together for nine weeks now and the squad has grown so much in stature. Just look at the last 16 months how we’ve grown and improved, the way we have played. It all comes down to tomorrow’s game.

“It’s always massive and this one definitely rates up there with finals rugby. You probably go World Cup final, British and Irish Lions and this game, those are very special games and this is why we play rugby.

“You take part in competitions to win them. We know what is expected of us tomorrow to win the competition and we will go out to do our best, and let’s see what happens.”

De Villiers said that the resolve shown in the second half in Auckland – being down to 14 men, but ultimately only losing the second half 12-5 – showed the fight that is in his team.

While previous teams have crumbled when losing a player, the Boks soldiered on and gave a good account of themselves, managing to keep the scoreline down despite being at a disadvantage in terms of numbers.

De Villiers said the lessons that were learnt in the Auckland game showed just how determined the team was.

“You learn a lot from your fellow teammates in a situation like that, because it is easy to give up then,” he explained.

“When we went down to 14 men, that game in 2002 in England when we got red-carded and lost by 50 came to mind. I was just thinking I don’t want to be part of something like that.

“That was the feeling in the team and the guys stuck to it, and we kept on fighting to the end.

“We may not have won the game, but I thought we gained a lot by how we finished that game.”

Still, what counts for De Villiers and his teammates is to put it all together on Saturday at Ellis Park. They have had a great season thus far, but they also know that the 80 minutes that await will tell them very much where they are in the modern game.

And exactly what they are capable of.


The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
South Africa XV Ball
South Africa XV Ball Now: R119 Was: R200 Format:Sport EquipmentProduct type:SportDelivery:Dispatched within 24 hours (1 working day) This fan ball...


More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk

Super Wrap
SuperWrap: Week 3, 2015
It was a pass so forward that if you had shown it to an American he would have mistaken Bulls...

Brendan Venter
The price of player development
Not too long ago the Bulls boasted a very strong playing group which dominated Super Rugby....

Tony Johnson
There's nothing like a derby game
The most appealing and worthwhile element of Super Rugby to me, has always been the international...

Brenden Nel
The real problem with referees
Being a referee is tough work. Fans hurling abuse, players and coaches questioning every move you...

Gavin Rich
Plenty of positives from Loftus
The perennial questions about match officiating, particularly the parameters they work within, will...

Duane Heath
The long-life locks
Nico Luus may be one of the oldest players still active in South African rugby but the veteran lock...