• Kiwi scalp will represent progress

    Jean de Villiers says a win against New Zealand will ensure that the Boks take some much-needed belief into the 2015 World Cup, reports JON CARDINELLI in Johannesburg.

    The All Blacks have already won the Rugby Championship title, and yet there is still plenty to play for at Ellis Park this Saturday.

    The New Zealand players and coaches have said as much, as they will be looking to inflict further psychological damage on the Boks. For those in the South African camp, the goal is to snap a five-Test losing streak against the best team in the world.

    On Friday, the Bok captain reiterated the importance of the coming clash. De Villiers said a win would be significant in the context of the Boks’ 2014 season, and also in the context of the 2015 World Cup.

    Many neutrals will be hoping that South Africa end New Zealand’s unbeaten streak this weekend. The All Blacks have not lost since December 2012, and that is the only defeat they’ve sustained in three seasons of Test rugby. Somebody needs to beat them before next year’s World Cup in England.

    De Villiers, however, said the Boks are looking at the situation from a different point of view.

    ‘It’s about what we want to achieve and how we want to improve,’ he said. ‘Victory will mean a lot to us. We’re busy with our processes, building towards the World Cup. Winning on Saturday will represent progress, and will be an important step towards that tournament.’

    The Boks have not beaten the All Blacks while Heyneke Meyer has been at the helm. They so nearly won in Dunedin in 2012, and were within one score of victory in the most recent clash in Wellington. But ultimately, the All Blacks have always managed to prevail.

    ‘We need to break through that barrier,’ said De Villiers. ‘It’s easier said than done, but I truly believe we have what it takes. We’ve come close on a few occasions, and now it’s time to get the result.

    ‘We have a good record at Ellis Park. They haven’t lost a game in two years. But will any of that count on Saturday? No. It’s about what happens on the day.’

    Photo: Barry Aldworth/BackpagePix

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    Jon Cardinelli