Rugby Championship

Faf de Klerk hasn't given up on Rugby Championship title, disputes yellow card against Wallabies

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The Springbok scrum oozed power for little reward. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
The Springbok scrum oozed power for little reward. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
  • Springbok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk hasn't lost hope of the Boks defending their Rugby Championship title despite consecutive losses to the Wallabies.
  • The Springboks have to beat the All Blacks in Townsville on Saturday to stand any chance of defending their title.
  • De Klerk said their discipline also needs to be sharper against the All Blacks.

Springbok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk said they still have ambitions of winning the Rugby Championship despite losing consecutive games to the Wallabies.

The Springboks have the tough task of having to see off the All Blacks in what will be the 100th meeting between the teams in Townsville on Saturday.

The Springboks are second on the log, but they are a full 10 points behind New Zealand and only have two bonus points.

"Our main focus is to get back on track in the competition, to force ourselves to play well and be in contention to win it," De Klerk said.

"The history books are going to write it and it is going to be important for some people, but as a group, we just want to put up a performance that we can be proud of.

"Hopefully, the result will take care of itself."

The Boks' discipline has been a talking point, with yellow cards being a trending theme in the Wallaby defeats.

De Klerk was given his 10 minutes in the first half of last week's Test, a period that saw Australia shut the door on the game with 12 points through Len Ikitau's brace.

De Klerk, who knows discipline will be important against an All Black that generally gets the rub of the green from match officials, felt he was harshly yellow-carded, but they to stay within their processes.

"I honestly don't think my yellow card was a yellow card. I think I clearly played the guy's arm and not the ball," De Klerk said.

"Our discipline was pretty decent in the first half and it was also good in the previous games. I think it was errors from guys going off-script.

"It wasn't a lot of forced stuff or guys being stupid, but we need to be a bit more sharper and be in the refs head.

"If we can stay in control of how we want to play, we'll hopefully have the scoreboard on our side and not have to try things that are out of character."


All Blacks



15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Trevor Nyakane

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn

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