Rassie Erasmus says the Springboks are a “team under pressure”, but insists they also know how to contend with that ahead of the second Test against the British & Irish Lions.
It was all quiet on the rugby front in South Africa on Wednesday as both the Springboks and Lions camps took a one-day break from media briefings.
The teams clash on Saturday in the second Test of three in Cape Town and South Africa must triumph to remain in contention to win the series after going down 22-17 this past weekend.
History is stacked in favour of the Lions as the team winning the first Test in this rivalry has gone on to win the series except for the 1955 edition, which was drawn.
Speaking to the media earlier in the week, Erasmus said he was confident there would be an emphatic response from the Boks after banking some much-needed game time in the Test match cauldron.
“I wouldn’t say there’ll be a furious backlash but, if we win this one, then the Lions are in the same position as us, in that they must win the last Test to win the series.
“That’s the way we want to look at it, and we are going to try to win this one. We’ve been in positions like this before.
“At the World Cup, we lost the first game against the All Blacks, and we had to win the next six to win the trophy.
“We are definitely a team under pressure, without a doubt. We have our backs against the wall, and it will be a tough game on Saturday but luckily, we only have one big injury, which is Ox Nche.
“We always knew we were going to be a little underdone after the second Georgia Test was cancelled, and we were hoping to last 80 minutes last week.
“But, with the changes we’ve now made and the six-two split, and the guys getting a Test match under their belt, we might have the wind and the breath to go 80 minutes.”