The full Springbok squad assembled in camp on Wednesday following a two-day break for the players who participated in the team’s 35-20 defeat by the All Blacks in Auckland, and the coaches wasted no time trying to correct the wrongs that saw them finish the second round of the southern hemisphere showpiece in second place on the table.
The Boks trail New Zealand by four log points with a points’ deficit of 28, meaning their fate in the competition will be determined by the result between Australia and New Zealand in Melbourne on Saturday morning. A victory for the All Blacks would see them take the title, but should they suffer a defeat, Nienaber’s charges will know exactly what they must do to clinch the title when they take the field against the Pumas at 17h05 at Emirates Airline Park later that afternoon.
“The last two days were very important in the sense that we had a chance to do an honest assessment about what went wrong against New Zealand and to identify what we need to correct in our game going into our final match of the competition and the World Cup warm-up games,” said Nienaber.
“We were bitterly disappointed with last week’s performance, and we are well aware of the fact that we can’t make the same errors if we want to get our season back on track and build momentum.”
With the teams debrief against New Zealand now concluded, as well as four training sessions and a few gym sessions in the bag, Nienaber said: “We’ve done everything we could to find solutions to the errors we made last week, and we’ve already started working on it at our field sessions, so we can now put that behind us and move forward.
“When we reassemble on Sunday our focus will be purely on Argentina, so we’ll hit the ground running again from Monday.”
The Springboks will continue their preparations in Pretoria early in the week before making the short trip to Johannesburg on Wednesday where they will wrap up their on-field work for the match.