Springboks’ target is a bonus-point win, nothing less in Kings Park ‘final’

Makazole Mapimpi during the Springbok press conference at Beverly Hills Hotel in Durban on September 21 2022.
Makazole Mapimpi during the Springbok press conference at Beverly Hills Hotel in Durban on September 21 2022.
Image: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

As they approach the crunch Rugby Championship clash against Argentina at Kings Park on Saturday Springbok stars Makazole Mapimpi and Pieter-Steph du Toit exude calmness.

The Rugby Championship is going to the wire with New Zealand, Australia, Argentina and world champions SA all still in with a chance of winning the title, but the Springboks' fate is not entirely in their own hands.

The Boks must get a convincing bonus-point win over the Los Pumas in Durban and hope the improving Wallabies do them a huge favour by getting the better of arch-rivals the All Blacks in their earlier kickoff at Eden Park.

Mapimpi and Du Toit agreed that nothing but a bonus-point win in a match the Boks have billed as their ‘final’ will be enough to win the Rugby Championship title.

“For this match we need to try and get five points and possibly before the game we will know exactly what New Zealand would have done against Australia. We are going to make plans and be well prepared for Argentina but we won’t change too much,” Du Toit said.

“We are going to prepare the best way we can with the main aim of getting five points from the match. What happens in the other match might change it [what the Boks need] or it might not change it.

“The most important thing for us is to focus fully on what we can control and that’s mainly our set phases and improve the stuff we didn’t really do well last week.”

Winger Mapimpi agreed with the big flanker Du Toit, who has been included in the starting line-up after recovering from injury, that five points are crucial against unpredictable Los Pumas.

“There is no pressure on my side or the team — everyone just needs to do their job and as Pieter has already said, it is going to be very important to get the bonus point. There are a lot of things we need to do in the game to get what we want.”

The Springboks have been on a try-scoring spree in recent matches, scoring nine in their last two wins against Australia in Sydney (24-8) and Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday (36-20). Mapimpi said while as winger he is expected to score tries, it is the responsibility of everyone in the team to cross the line.

“It is always good for me to score. It is something I have been doing for a while and it is my job to finish up opportunities.

“But it doesn’t matter whether it is the forwards or backline players who score, as long as we get the points.”

He said SA showed they can be clinical in Argentina last weekend by scoring late tries.

“It's something we did work on. I remember when we played at Ellis Park against the All Blacks [SA lost 35-23] and it was a few minutes before full time. We felt somehow we didn’t try hard enough to finish in that game and there were a few opportunities.

“We worked hard on that and that’s why we managed to score late tries against Argentina. It is very important for the team and the fans for us to bring everything together. It’s been tough for us playing away games recently.

“Now we are back at home and we have a chance to win the Rugby Championship — it is exciting for everyone in camp and we are looking forward to Saturday.”

Du Toit said he is excited to be playing at Kings Park. “It is going to be awesome playing in front of a full stadium in Durban. This is where my rugby career started and it is an unbelievable pleasure and privilege to be back here with the Springboks.”


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