Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
1 Nov 2013
6:00 am

17-year drought has to be broken

Rudolph Jacobs

Seventeen years is an awful long time to wait for a Springbok victory against the French in their own backyard.

FILE PICTURE: Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. Picture: AFP / Patrick Hamilton.

This is one of the challenges awaiting coach Heyneke Meyer’s Bok charges when they leave tomorrow for their end-of-year tour to Europe for Tests against Wales, Scotland and France.

While Meyer has cautioned against the different challenges awaiting them, they are eager to build on a season which has produced seven wins from nine Tests, while they also won four of their six matches in the Rugby Championship.

“We’ll play in conditions we’ve not yet encountered this year, but we want to keep our positive mind-set on the field and hopefully keep on scoring tries,” said Meyer. “We’re up for the challenge. I know the players are keen to finish 2013 off on a high.”

The last time the Boks played the French they scored a runaway 42-17 win at Newlands, but they have lost all of their last four Test against Les Bleus in France

“We finish off against France at the Stade de France, where the Springboks lifted the Webb-Ellis Cup in 2007. But we’ve not beaten Les Bleus in France since 1997 and will have to be sharp and focused for this last Test of a challenging season,” said Meyer.

But first they are up against the might of the Welsh who were unlucky to lose 17-16 to the Boks the last time they met at the 2011 World Cup. Scotland are also very difficult to play at home, warned Meyer.

“The Welsh have won the Six Nations for the last two seasons. It’s our first Test against them since the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and they will be fired up at the Millennium Stadium,” said Meyer.

“This year Scotland finished third in the Six Nations and in our two Tests against them in the last two seasons, they have been a tough nut to crack.

“We’re not expecting anything different at Murrayfield this year.”