Bok coach calls for ‘colossal’ effort to overcome All Blacks

Jacques Nienaber says if the Springboks can “improve on their execution”, they will put themselves in a position to end the Rugby Championship on a high.

The world champions head into this Saturday’s game on Australia’s Gold Coast after three straight defeats, including an agonising 17-16 loss to New Zealand this past weekend.

Nienaber stressed the importance of turning the corner and ending on a positive note as he announced a squad with two injury-enforced changes.

“We are bitterly disappointed about the results in the last few weeks and everyone in our team realises the importance of finishing the Rugby Championship on a winning note,” he said.

“We have no doubt that if we can build on the strong points of our game last week and improve further on the execution of our gameplan, we can get the desired result.”

Nienaber added that winning would take “a colossal 80-minute effort, but the drive to succeed and motivation to win this weekend is as big as it gets.

“Changing the strategy will depend on what New Zealand does. If New Zealand change their strategy, the way they defend, the way they do things and give us space in a different area of the field, we’ll take it,” Nienaber said.

“If they load the frontline with 14 defenders and one at the back, the space will obviously be at the back. Adapting to the picture they paint for us will be the key, so it will depend on where they give us space.

“Our option will always be to attack space, but sometimes the space will be behind them, from where one kicks, or on the edges and we’ll have to pass.”

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse

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Craig Lewis