A step-up in big match temperament is all the Springboks need to get that long overdue win against the All Blacks, says Victor Matfield.
A step-up in big match temperament is all the Springboks need to get that long overdue victory against the All Blacks, says lock Victor Matfield.
South Africa’s most decorated Test rugby player would also not be told that the top ranked side in the world is unbeatable and that it would be important for his team to prepare for the big showdown as they would for any other opponent.
Matfield said that the All Blacks have mastered the art of coming out on top in critical moments and that they were able to reach that point because of the solid belief structure in their team.
“They are pulling off the big moments in games,” he said.
“If you look throughout the year, there were probably three, four Test matches that they could have lost that they came through and they pulled it off and that probably shows the character and the belief in the team.
“Belief is a funny thing, the more you win, it starts becoming a habit and I think it is a habit with them and they have only lost one game in 42 games and that is unbelievable.
“They know how to pull through tough games as well, so that is probably the one thing that stands out for me.”
Addressing the understandable hype that follows the All Blacks wherever they go, the Springbok vice-captain felt that a more relaxed approach in the build-up would best serve their cause.
“The most important thing is, and I know it sounds like a clich