Strauss fully focused on All Blacks challenge

Date published: October 7 2016

Springbok captain Adriaan Strauss insists his emotions won’t get the better of him when he leads his team out against the All Blacks in Durban on Saturday.

Despite playing his final Test match in South Africa, the 30-year-old is adament that he is fully focused on beating New Zealand which will prevent them from equalling the world record of 17 consecutive Test victories.

“‘It is obviously my last game in South Africa, but as I’ve said to people this week, it’s not emotional for me,” said Strauss.

“This week is all about our challenge against the All Blacks, who are currently the best team in the world. All

Although the Boks have beaten the All Blacks just once from their last nine Tests, Strauss believes a positive mindset could help the Boks to cause an upset.

“The motivation is that we know we’re coming up against the best side in the world,” he added.

“They’re a well-oiled machine and they’re a very street-smart side that is cunning at the breakdown, technically very good, strong on defence, attack and at the set pieces, while they don’t give away many penalties.

“So there aren’t many weaknesses, but this is the sort of side you want to measure yourself against. At times this season our execution has been our biggest problem, and we’ve been our own worst enemies.

“So we want to ensure that we are tactically much better, display good game management and avoid making mistakes that will allow New Zealand to play a lot in our half.”

The 62-Test veteran said he believes he made the right decision to retire at the end of this year and is hoping to end this year’s Rugby Championship campaign on a high.

“This is the sort of week that is so special as a Springbok,” he said.

“When I grew up as a farm boy in South Africa, I never dreamed of playing for the Boks, let alone captaining the team. But this is the pinnacle for any rugby player, and it’s a privilege to be here. It’s going to be a very special occasion.”