Makazole Mapimpi warmed up for the Springboks’ final match of their end-of-year tour against England with a double over Scotland in the team’s 30-15 win over the past weekend.
In the Scotland game the ball was spread more than usual by the Boks, which gave Mapimpi the opportunity to finish off two well worked tries from broken play, show great speed to receive offloads from Siya Kolisi and Damian de Allende and outstrip the cover defence to go in untouched.
His second try in particular was one he enjoyed as he wasn’t expecting De Allende to free his hands to get the offload off and had to adjust on the fly.
“It’s a good feeling to have the ball in my hands every time, so that I have an opportunity to finish. It’s also my job to finish, so it’s a good thing to have the ball in my hands,” admitted Mapimpi.
“That’s what we look forward to as a team is getting on to the front foot and attacking. We like to analyze teams and try and attack fast from turn-over ball.
“It was an awesome offload that I didn’t expect, my eyes were on Damian so I had to switch to the ball when it came, it was an awesome offload.”
Despite the scoreline Mapimpi admits that it wasn’t an easy match and the players had to react after receiving some good information from the coaching staff at halftime with them trailing 10-8 at the time.
“It wasn’t easy, we had a clear message from the coaches in the change room on what we could do better in the second half,” said Mapimpi.
“We made a lot of mistakes in the first half and had to fix those and once we got a clear message from the coaches we were able to turn it around.”
Mapimpi now has an impressive record of having scored against every team he has played against and he will be keen to continue that scoring prowess when he takes on England on Saturday.
It is the first meeting between the two teams since the 2019 World Cup final and it was Mapimpi’s try in that match that looked to have sealed the title for the Boks, before Cheslin Kolbe added more gloss to the scoreline, and he will be hoping for more opportunities like that this weekend.
“We are always trying to do that, whether it is Cheslin or whoever on the wing we are trying to execute our game plan and get a lot of ball so we can take it wide to use the opportunities,” said Mapimpi.
“Whenever we get advantage we try to take the ball wide every single time, we have good wings (in the squad) and Willie (le Roux) to control things.”