The Springboks are hoping to stage a comeback when they face the British and Irish Lions in the second test match at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday. The Rugby World Cup champions lost 17-22 to the tourists in Cape Town last weekend. The Boks showed their class in the opening half, before allowing the British and Irish Lions to register a come from behind victory.
South Africa is expecting to give a much improved performance against the British and Irish Lions who currently lead the three match series 1-nil. But not since Australia in 2001 has a team recovered from losing the opening match to win the series. The Springboks showed why they are the reigning World champions in the opening half, only to run out of steam in the second half and in particular towards the end of the match. Boks centre Lukhanyo Am gave a good account of himself in the opening test and expects another physical and bruising battle on Saturday.
“You know it was my first test of the series and obviously it was in the beginning of the event I think it was quite intentional you know setting the standards and try to stamp down the physicality that we were going to impose from minute one until minute eighty. So I think as a team we always had this great defensive mindset and it’s something that we’ve been really good on and something we are very proud of so I think once again this weekend it will be once another physical battle that we will be taking on” says Am.
The visitors are expected to employ different tactics in the second match and Am says they are preparing for any eventualities.
“I think we obviously quite prepared as much as we can we saw the two different style of players they brought in the first test in the first half and in the second. We will definitely look at the personnel they brought for the second test. We will try and prepare as much as we can so that we can counter whatever they will be trying to bring to us so we will see on the second test, ” he adds.
The 27-year-old Sharks centre says the Boks went into the first test match with the intention of winning, but unfortunately things did not go their way. Am has promised that the players would give their all from the beginning of the match on Saturday until the very last second.
“From the word go I think we went into the game to go win it but unfortunately we didn’t get the results but we knew how important the prep was and unfortunately it got disrupted. We kind knew it would bite us towards the end of the game. But I think we got our bomb squad to finish off the game and we had all the players on the field to pull through till minute eighty and I think there was a lot of energy and we managed to play until the last minute. We were just unfortunate by not converting the opportunities we had.”
Boks coach Jacques Nienaber made three changes to his starting line-up with one forced change. Prop Steven Kishoff will earn his 50th cap in the second test on Saturday, replacing the injured Ox Nche.