Spring­boks ex­pect­ing even more in­ten­sity


THE Spring­boks are go­ing to push the rev counter into the red on Satur­day in Bloem­fontein in an ef­fort to wrap up the se­ries against Eng­land.

And, with Eng­land des­per­ate to equal the se­ries af­ter los­ing last week at El­lis Park, the in­ten­sity of this match is not go­ing to be for the faint­hearted.

Last week’s game had hearts pal­pi­tat­ing, so it should be a crack­er­jack Test which will ei­ther sink Eng­land or keep the se­ries alive – with ev­ery­thing then to play for in the third Test in Cape Town next week.

Eng­land have lost five matches in a row — four Tests and a match against the Bar­bar­ians, and the heat is be­ing turned up on Eng­land boss Ed­die Jones.

“It was an in­tense game ... fast, high speed,” Rassie Eras­mus said of the Boks’ nail-bit­ing 42-39 vic­tory, which was achieved thanks to a re­mark­able come­back from an in­tim­i­dat­ing 3-24 deficit af­ter just min­utes be­fore the end of the pul­sat­ing match.

“There were a lot of line­breaks, there was a lot of run­ning, and I think it’s go­ing to be even more in­tense this week­end,” the Spring­bok coach said.

“Both teams are des­per­ate. We want to bury the se­ries on Satur­day and they ob­vi­ously want to keep it alive.

“And, for the sec­ond week run­ning, the game is be­ing played at al­ti­tude, which means more pace, more space in which to at­tack, and greater in­ten­sity.”

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports from Bloem­fontein, the 46 000-seater Free State Sta­dium is likely to sell out, with the 4 000 tick­ets still avail­able likely to go be­fore kick-off at 5pm.

The match would likely have sold out early in the week, but there is ma­jor prob­lem with ac­com­mo­da­tion in the Free State cap­i­tal, and lim­ited flights avail­able.

A sold-out sta­dium plus an­tic­i­pated clear skies will add to the at­mos­phere.

Given the way Eng­land played in that open­ing quar­ter, and the Boks’ will­ing­ness to use the ball un­der Swys de Bruyn (the Lions coach who dou­bles up as the Spring­bok at­tack coach), breath­tak­ing en­ter­tain­ment is guar­an­teed.

Eras­mus was thrilled that his three new­com­ers to Test rugby – Sb’u Nkosi, Aphiwe Dyan­tyi and RG Sny­man – had su­perb de­buts.

Burly Bulls lock Sny­man, 23, said he could not have dreamed of a bet­ter game in which to an­nounce his ar­rival on the in­ter­na­tional stage.

“Dur­ing those first 20 min­utes it felt like it was never go­ing to end. But Duane Ver­meulen pulled us to­gether, gave us a good talk­ing-to be­hind the posts and af­ter that we came back nicely,” said the he 23-yearold.

“I’m just so hon­oured and priv­i­leged to be with the Boks ... this was ob­vi­ously a big dream of mine grow­ing up. And to start off at El­lis Park, and win the way we did, it was re­ally spe­cial,” said Sny­man, who packs a punch up front at 2.06 me­tres tall and weighs 125kg.

“Be­ing a Bulls fan, grow­ing up it was al­ways Vic­tor Mat­field and Bakkies Botha for me, and then also Danie Ros­souw, a guy with a nice phys­i­cal game,” he said.

“I have taken a bit from all of those guys but I like to think I play my own game.”

Sny­man un­der­stands that Eng­land will have done their home­work on him af­ter his fine per­for­mance which in­cluded a cru­cial line-out steal late in the game when Eng­land were push­ing for vic­tory.

“They would have learned a bit about us, but we also learned about them. They’ll come back harder, but so will we. The in­ten­sity and phys­i­cal­ity will be there, much more than in Su­per Rugby. That’s why it’s Test rugby.”

15 Wil­lie le Roux, 14 Aphiwe Dyan­tyi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Al­lende, 11 S’bu Nkosi, 10 Han­dre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Ver­meulen, 7 Pi­eter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Koloisi (capt), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Sny­man, 3 Frans Mal­herbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Beast Mtawarira


GAL­LOP­ING GI­ANT: Spring­bok lock RG Sny­man is tack­led by Eng­land’s Mike Brown dur­ing the first Test at El­lis Park on Satur­day.

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