Springbok lock Du Toit says they are not focusing on All Blacks’ recent struggles

Pieter-Steph du Toit during the SA men's national rugby team media conference at Southern Sun Emnotweni on August 3 2022 in Mbombela.
Pieter-Steph du Toit during the SA men's national rugby team media conference at Southern Sun Emnotweni on August 3 2022 in Mbombela.
Image: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

A lot has been made about New Zealand’s recent indifferent results after they lost four of their last five Tests, but Springboks lock and senior player Pieter-Steph du Toit maintains they remain capable.

It is also worth noting the All Blacks suffered defeats in their last two Tests to Ireland to lose the series 2-1, but equally important is that they have won their last four matches on South African soil.

Looking ahead of their hugely anticipated Rugby Championship clash at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday, vastly experienced Du Toit said they are not focusing too much on New Zealand’s recent results.

“We don’t focus too much on them (New Zealand). We just focus on ourselves,” he said as they readied for the sold-out clash.

“Playing against New Zealand is always a big challenge because they will always be up for the game. We have to focus on ourselves and make sure we play the right way and according to the way we trained for the whole week.

“If you look at the first game they played against Ireland, they actually played extremely well and it is going to be a big challenge for us against them.”

The Springboks go into these back to back matches against New Zealand on the back of a 2-1 win over Wales, but they were not overly impressive during that series.

“Playing against the All Blacks is always an opportunity and a privilege. For us it is going to be nice playing here at the Lowveld. It is a good opportunity to show the public we have improved from where we were in the past.

“Everyone always compares us to where we were in 2019, but time moves on quickly and you have to adapt and play a better and winning style to please the public.”

Over the past few years, Du Toit has suffered a number of injuries but he is fully fit again.

“Unfortunately injuries are part of the game, I was injured a lot over the past two years. The more game time you get, the more time you get training with the team, the more minutes you get on the field the better you are going to be.

“It is not nice coming back from injury or being injured. You have work hard to recover and you have to be mentally strong as well. I got a lot of confidence out of the game in Cape Town and I am ready to go.

“The fitness can always be better. If you ask the coach they say you can be fitter, stronger and faster.”

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