“They Will Be More Desperate” – Lood De Jager


Springbok lock Lood de Jager expected New Zealand to be even more desperate than last week’s opening Castle Lager Rugby Championship clash in Nelspruit when the sides cross paths for the second time on Saturday in Johannesburg.

De Jager said the focus in the Bok camp was on ramping up their performance after having a “critical review” of their 26-10 victory against the All Blacks at the Mbombela Stadium last weekend as they look to step up their performance.

“The All Blacks are a proud team and New Zealand is a proud rugby nation, so we expect them to be more desperate than at the Mbombela Stadium,” said De Jager.

“They will enter the match with the mindset that they want to return to No 1 in the world.

“Our focus, however, is on what we can do better. But that said, they will come at us with everything they have, and we are expecting another massive battle this weekend.”

De Jager added: “The big word against the All Blacks is intensity. When we face other, both teams give everything they have, so for us it is important to take a hard look at ourselves and to improve where we can so we can deliver the best performance possible.”

After kicking off the Castle Lager Rugby Championship in front of a passionate capacity crowd last week in Nelspruit, De Jager hoped to Boks would be in for another special encounter at Emirates Airline Park this weekend.

“That is a special ground for the Springboks as some of our best results were at that stadium, so we’ll go out there and give our best and hopefully our supporters will come out and watch,” said De Jager.