Veteran Springbok prop Os du Randt is more motivated than ever ahead of the Vodacom Tri-Nations Test against the All Blacks on Saturday.
Following the humiliation of the 49-0 defeat at the hands of the Wallabies in Brisbane last weekend, Du Randt says he and the rest of his team-mates are out to prove a point in Wellington.
“That loss was a huge wake-up call,” du Randt told keo.co.za from the Bok hotel in Wellington. “But we had something similar last year when we lost to Australia in Sydney (32-12) and it served to get us back on track.”
“We were just not right for that game and now the difficult thing is getting our minds right for the clash with the Blacks at the weekend.â€ With the current mood and the slew of injuries to top players the possibility of a Springbok victory on Saturday could likened to extracting blood from a stone. Impossible?
At the end of the day though the old adage of you are only as good as your last game rings true for the Boks. If they manage to pull off a shock win in New Zealand for the first time since 1998 then the Brisbane Bashing will be soon forgotten by the Boks fickle fans.
But another record defeat will have fans calling for the heads of coach Jake White, his management team as well as the players. Conceding 49 points without reply is just unacceptable.
And du Randt says the defeat should never be forgotten. “A win on Saturday will be great, but we must not get ahead of ourselves. The lessons of the defeat to Australia must never be forgotten.
â€œWe should watch that video every single day to remind us of what not to do and how it felt to be humbled in that way. Even if we play well on Saturday we must not try and sweep what happened in Brisbane under the carpet.”
While a Springbok victory at the Wespac Stadium is highly unlikely especially given the current circumstances, stranger things have happened in rugby. This is, of course, a Bok team that has won two of its last four Tests against the Old Enemy.
And they were the last team to beat the All Blacks – at Nelwands in Cape Town last year. No one expects anything but a convincing All Black win, except maybe the Boks, but that is because they have to believe.
By Andrew Hollely