slicker BOKS on MENU

BUFFALO City Stadium in East London is the venue for Saturday's Test match between Italy and South Africa and like Witbank last weekend, is not a regular feature on the Test circuit.

BUFFALO City Stadium in East London is the venue for Saturday's Test match between Italy and South Africa and like Witbank last weekend, is not a regular feature on the Test circuit.

Just two Tests have been played in East London - in 2000 against Canada and most recently in 2005 against Uruguay - both matches the Boks won comfortably.

But playing away from the big cities because stadiums are booked for the 2010 World Cup does not bother coach Pieter de Villiers at all.

"The standard of the pitch is fantastic," he said after the team's first training run. "Our hosts have done a great job to ensure that the venue is of international standard. Now we must come to the party with a good performance at the weekend. The table has been set and we are looking forward to providing a satisfying meal for the East London crowd."

De Villiers still appears to be smarting after last weekend's lucklustre performance against Italy in the first Test, which they won 29-13.

It was a stop-start and disjointed affair that contrasted sharply with the slick job they did against France in Newlands on June 12.

The coach is out to rectify the problems this week. He was not happy with the build-up last weekend.

"We allowed silly mistakes to creep into our game last week. This was due to a lack of concentration and we have to rectify that," De Villiers said.

Saturday's match is a stepping stone for this year's Tri-Nations competition, which kicks off in two weeks' time.

"This (Saturday) is the last piece of the puzzle, which we hope will fall into place so that we are ready for the Vodacom Tri-Nations. We have been given opportunities to experiment and manage the players," said the coach.

Skipper John Smit has recovered from a hamstring injury and will lead the Boks.

X