‘Eben made the choice to play… I’d like to think that he’ll be doing it for his father’

Eben Etzebeth will take the sphere towards the All Blacks this Saturday at Mount Good Stadium in Auckland, regardless of the latest passing of his father. The information was shared by Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick and hooker Bongi Mbonambiwho expressed their readiness for the upcoming battle.

Whereas addressing the media on Friday, Stick acknowledged the magnitude of the problem awaiting them however emphasised the staff’s unity in supporting Etzebeth throughout this tough time. “We’ve ready in addition to we may for a large recreation,” Stick mentioned. “Eben’s loss can be our loss as a result of we’re a household, and as a staff, we’d wish to be there for each other.”

Tragedy has sadly struck the staff twice, as Jaden Hendricks’ father additionally handed away earlier than the staff’s departure from South Africa. The Springboks have rallied collectively to offer help and solidarity to their grieving teammates. Stick added, “Eben made the selection to play this weekend, and I’d wish to assume that he’ll be doing it for his father. If he performs for his dad, it doesn’t get greater than going through the All Blacks.”

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Bongi Mbonambi acknowledged the daunting forward battle that lies ahead but expressed confidence in the team’s preparedness, despite some players arriving at the team hotel in the early hours of Tuesday morning. “It’s always difficult playing against a fully loaded New Zealand team,” Mbonambi stated. “They are a good scrummaging team, and we saw how they performed against Argentina, so we have to be up for it.”

Reflecting on their match preparation, Mbonambi mentioned that the victory against Australia served as a positive start but emphasized the team’s focus on the present challenge. “The game against Australia was a good start for us, but we quickly put that behind us because we have another big challenge this week,” he said. “Fortunately, all the planning was done when we touched down, so we just had to slot in, and as a team, we’re aligned.”

Assistant coach Stick anticipated a tough test from the All Blacks, stressing the need for physicality and resilience to counter their high-tempo game. “If we want to beat the All Blacks, there’s no doubt that we have to stand up to them physically and also cope with their high-tempo game for the full 80 minutes,” Stick asserted. “It is also vital that when we create opportunities, we have to use them.”

While the prospect of defeating New Zealand in Auckland for the first time since 1937 holds significance, Stick revealed that the team’s focus remains firmly on the task at hand and the rich history between the two teams. “It’s the first time I hear about that. It would be special for the boys, but it isn’t something we’ve been thinking about,” he shared. “As a team, we spoke about facing the All Blacks at home. Some of us were part of the team that won in Wellington in 2018, but this is a new match, and we know the history between the teams is massive.”

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Revealed : 2023-07-14 17:30:42

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