Warren Whiteley says the Boks can’t afford to be overwhelmed by building pressure as they get set to face the All Blacks in Christchurch, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
The Springboks have had just a 50% success rate since the start of the year, clinching two narrow wins over Ireland in June, while they’ve picked up just the solitary victory after three rounds of action in the Rugby Championship (30-23 against Argentina).
Having already suffered the ignominy of losing to Ireland for the first time at home, while suffering just a second-ever defeat to the Pumas (and the first in Argentina), the Boks are now set to face their most considerable challenge of the year when they meet the All Blacks this Saturday.
The Boks haven’t beaten the All Blacks since 2014, while their last win over the current world champs in New Zealand came in 2009. The world champions have also extended their winning sequence to 14 games after securing a third successive bonus-point win in the Rugby Championship this past Saturday.
Another expected defeat this weekend would see the Springboks slip down to third in the current Rugby Championship standings and apply further pressure as the Boks return home for encounters with the Wallabies in Pretoria and All Blacks in Durban.
This week, the Boks have tucked themselves away at the picturesque Clearwater Resort in Christchurch, where Whiteley says the focus has been on staying positive and trying to rectify the ‘small things’ they haven’t got right.
‘There were definitely times in the game [against Australia last Saturday] where we played quality rugby, and the brand of rugby that we want to play,’ he told SuperSport. ‘It's a little bit frustrating [to not come away with a win], but we can’t allow that frustration get to us at this point in time. And yes, the pressure is on, we know that, but we can’t let it get to us either.’
Reminder of the Boks’ results since the beginning of 2015:
- Lost 24-20 to Wallabies
- Lost 27-20 to All Blacks
- Lost 36-25 to Argentina
- Won 26-12 against Argentina
- Lost 34-32 to Japan
- Won 46-6 against Samoa
- Won 34-16 against Scotland
- Won 64-0 against the USA
- Won 23-19 against Wales
- Lost 20-18 to All Blacks
- Won 24-13 against Argentina
- Lost 26-20 to Ireland
- Won 32-26 against Ireland
- Won 19-13 against Ireland
- Won 30-23 against Argentina
- Lost 26-24 to Argentina
- Lost 23-17 to Australia
Photo: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images