Boks wary of any complacency
20 August 2012 | RUDOLPH JACOBS
JOHANNESBURG - The Boks arrived in Buenos Aires on Sunday afternoon in high spirits and transferred to Mendoza yesterday, where they will face Argentina in the second Test of the Rugby Championship on the weekend.
De Villiers, who will captain the Boks for the first time away from home, said the team is looking forward to their rematch with the Pumas in Mendoza after winning the first Test in Cape Town last Saturday by 27-6.
“The travel has been good, we got some sleep on the flight and we’re happy to be here in Argentina,” said De Villiers. “We will review the first Test and see where we are injury wise and then start preparing for Saturday’s game, with the kick-off confirmed at 9.10pm Saturday evening.”
De Villiers is one of only two survivors from the last Bok team to have played a Test in Argentina, in 2005, the other being try-scoring record-holder Bryan Habana.
“It will be the Pumas’ first game in this new competition at home, so they will be out to prove a point,” said De Villiers.
“We know it will be tough and they will be emotionally and mentally up for it, so we will be prepared for a massive battle on Saturday.”
Sharks hooker Craig Burden, who came into the Springbok squad following the serious knee ligament injury to Bismarck du Plessis, joined the squad in Johannesburg on Sunday morning.
Du Plessis, with 46 Tests, was the most experienced in the pack and also the vice-captain which means the Boks deputy captain’s armband could now go to somebody like lock Andries Bekker who played his 25th Test.
Bok coach Heyneke Meyer said that Bekker is ready to move out of “Victor Matfield’s shadow”.
“He had a great Test seeing it was his first in two years, while Argentina gave us the game we expected, but they are a team who will go from strength to strength.
“The experience would’ve been great for somebody like Marcell Coetzee, who scored his first Test try,” said Meyer.
Loosehead prop Beast Mtawarira is the most experienced Bok forward left with 36 Tests, followed by fellow prop Jannie du Plessis (34).
Set to start at hooker Adriaan Strauss has 13 caps, lock Eben Etzebeth has only four, loose forwards Willem Alberts has 12 and Coetzee and No 8 Keegan Daniel both only have four.
At the back scrumhalf Francois Hougaard has 19 caps, flyhalf Morne Steyn 38, centre Frans Steyn 50, fellow centre and captain De Villiers 76, left wing Lwazi Mvovo five and fullback Zane Kirchner has 16, while reserve scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar is the most experienced replacement with 55 Tests.
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