Rugby Championship

Springboks won't suffer crisis of confidence against All Blacks: 'We take emotion out'

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The Springboks have their work cut out. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)
The Springboks have their work cut out. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)
  • The Springboks have focused on smothering any possibility of their confidence being dented ahead of the All Blacks Test. 
  • As a result, team management have made a point of reviewing last weekend's loss to the Wallabies in the most objective way possible.
  • Assistant coach Deon Davids says "taking the emotion out" of things helps the players to look forward.

The Springboks hope to smother a potential wildfire of dented confidence before Saturday's historic 100th Test against the All Blacks by being as objective and rational about the last fortnight's poor results against Australia as possible.

South Africa enter the build-up to the Rugby Championship meeting in Townsville having had their aura as world champions fractured badly following successive losses to the Wallabies, last weekend's 17-30 scoreline in particular exposing various cracks from selection to tactics.

It's obvious then that some negative thoughts have started to creep in, but the coaching staff don't want the players to dwell on them.

READ | Boks shrug off ex-All Black coach's stinging criticism of players: 'His opinion, not ours'

"When you lose two Tests in succession, it's only natural that you get a bit emotional. You start looking for things and reasons (for your performances) that simply aren't the case and don't have an influence," Springbok forwards coach Deon Davids said on Monday.

"For us, it's really important to take a step back as a team, determine strengths and weaknesses, see what we've done well in the past and what aren't we doing well. 

"This team knows what it feels like to be in this position. They lost the World Cup opener to the All Blacks and we lost the first Test against the British & Irish Lions. From thereon, they were able to pick themselves up, there's an understanding that went wrong and I'm confident we'll pitch up."

To wipe the slate clean as quickly as possible, Davids reiterated Jacques Nienaber's line from last week that emotion needs to be taken out of the review and preparation process.

"It's important that you look objectively at one's performance the previous week," he said.

"The high performance environment at the highest level teaches you that you have to take the emotion out of the game from the outset. It's about calmly sitting and determining whether your plan was executed or not. 

"You then need to stay on task in terms of the game that's ahead. We're the first to put up our hands and say that we weren't up to standard.

"We've had in-depth discussions about everything. It's a new opportunity to play against a quality side like New Zealand for the next two weeks. Everyone is looking forward to that. We really can't afford to dwell on the past."

Senior hooker Bongi Mbonambi concurred with his coach, stating that the players are on the same page in terms of looking ahead.

"We've gone through the game and we all recognised our mistakes," he said.

"We're always aware that there's room for improvement. Every player here is professional enough to know where the errors were made and we're working on them. 

"It's a new week and a new challenge."

The Springboks name their team for the match on Tuesday.

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