CAPE TOWN – Eben Etzebeth says the Springboks need to “take a few more chances” if they want to beat the All Blacks on Saturday.
The Boks are smarting from two consecutive defeats – to Argentina in Mendoza and Australia in Brisbane – and have to get the better of the world champions in Wellington and stay alive in the Rugby Championship race.
More realistically, though, Rassie Erasmus’ team will hope to avoid another rout in New Zealand, having gone down 57-0 in Albany last year.
But Etzebeth feels that the Boks can give the All Blacks a tough time at the Westpac Stadium (9.35am SA time kickoff).
The Stormers giant will look to impose himself in the lineouts and tight loose especially, seeing that his regular All Black foe Brodie Retallick is out injured.
“Definitely a few calls didn’t go our way (against Australia), but ja, it’s actually all up to us. It’s things we worked on this week, and hopefully we can improve on that this week,” Etzebeth said from Wellington.
“(I) Suppose get more points than them! Just work on the stuff that didn’t go our way. Maybe take a few more chances and use our opportunities.
“Every game is a new challenge, and we analyse the team we play against. Each team has their own strengths, and we analysed the New Zealand lineout, and we are looking to expose that.
“I think they’ve got good jumpers, good individual players, and they work well together as a group. We are just trying to focus on our game, and adapt here and there.”
Meanwhile, the 26-year-old second-rower, who has 70 Test caps, has also been linked with a move to French club Toulon after the World Cup next year, but he said that he has yet to make up his mind.
“I love South Africa and being in Cape Town with my family‚ and I am also enjoying my rugby there. It is difficult to say when I will be moving overseas‚” Etzebeth was quoted as saying by TimesLIVE.
“I have signed (with the Stormers) until 2019, and we will see if I stay or go abroad when my contract comes to an end.”
Bright sunshine and clear skies at the Westpac Stadium on Friday morning, where the Springboks finished off their preparations for Saturday’s Test against the All Blacks. #NZLvRSA @MTNza @ASICS_ZA pic.twitter.com/h35KLKbUKA