Springboks on a mission to end OZ hoodoo
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DURBAN - Springboks captain Siya Kolisi is keen to lead his side to victory against Australia the same way he did against the British and Irish Lions.
THE Springboks have a golden chance to turn around their fortunes in Australia when they play the Wallabies in a Rugby Championship match today on Queensland’s Gold Coast at noon .
The Boks have been in Australia for almost three weeks now preparing for the match – they had to get there early because of Covid isolation protocols – and that means jet lag and acclimatisation have long been a thing of the past, as are injuries and niggles picked up in the two matches played against Argentina.
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And the Boks have had plenty of time to ponder their poor record on Aussie soil — they have won there just won five times since readmission in 1992, and they last won there eight years ago.
Since Rassie Erasmus took over the Boks in 2018, they have won a series against England, the Rugby Championship, the World Cup and a series against the British and Irish Lions and now the next rung on the ladder in the team’s upward evolution is to put the Wallaby hoodoo to rest.
The Boks have a return match against the Wallabies on Saturday in Brisbane, a city where they have an appalling record, so a fortnight of wins on Aussie soil would be a major lift for the Springbok psyche Down Under.
“We obviously want to win consistently in Australia,” Siya Kolisi stressed in his pre-match press conference. “But we have to make it about this game only. This is the start for us. It is a very important game for us and it is vital that we focus only on the process of winning it rather than on a broader picture. Our record is not good in Australia and the best way to address that is to focus only on how we want to play.
“We are really excited. We don't have a great record here, so we want to make sure that we correct that. It’s a stepping stone for us and we want to make sure that we execute our plan tomorrow. We know what Australia has done to us in the past.”