‘Forget Wellington, forward to Loftus’
Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx has urged his team-mates to guard against dwelling too much on the emotions of their stunning victory over New Zealand in Wellington three weeks ago when they face the All Blacks in the return Rugby Championship Test at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on Saturday.
The Boks overcame heavy odds at the Westpac Stadium to hand the All Blacks their first loss at home in this tournament since 2009 but Marx, who played an important role in that 36-34 win, said it must be forgotten when they face the old enemy at Loftus.
“The most important thing for us is to put what happened in Wellington behind us.
“That victory was amazing for us but it is in the past and we must focus on how we can get better. We must try to correct what we did wrong in the last two matches.”
The two teams go into this match with the All Blacks having already won the Rugby Championship after their win over Argentina at the weekend.
But there is pride to play for, with the Boks seeking a rare double over their old rivals.
Marx, who is widely regarded as the best hooker in the world, said on Monday in Pretoria that the Boks must forget about the first match and focus on their preparations ahead of Saturday’s showdown.
He said to overcome the All Blacks for the second time in a short space of time, they must improve their attacking game because they have been caught on the back foot a lot recently.
“When you tackle a lot, your body is going to be sore afterwards, but the medical team is great and they got us back to training on Monday.
“To defend like we did against New Zealand and Australia over the past two matches has been crazy, but we must improve our attacking game and keep on improving – we will listen to the coach’s plans and take it from there.”