The lights were on but no-one was at home!
Adnaan Mohamed – Sport24
That is how Springbok wing Bryan Habana described last week’s humiliating Tri-Nations loss to the All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland.
“The All Blacks played with great intensity. We disappointed ourselves in the way we arrived there on the day. We let ourselves down. It’s always tough to bounce back when you lose your first game on tour,” Habana said at the team hotel on Tuesday.
The Springboks have another opportunity to set the record straight when the tackle the All Blacks at the Westpac stadium on Saturday.
“The great thing about it is that you get another chance the following week. Hopefully we can get our mental preparation right so that we can put up more of a fight come Saturday afternoon,” said Habana.
The Bok-winger said they allowed the All Blacks to really lift their intensity for 80 minutes.
“There were periods in the game where we had a sniff of coming back. We were on their try line but they kept us out. For an All Black side to keep a Springbok-side tryless is quite a feat.
“On attack they also showed why they are the number one team in the world at the moment.
Habana says he expects the conditions to play a huge role in the outcome of the game.
“It will be my third time playing in the Cake Tin (Westpac stadium) in a Springbok-jersey. I will never forget 2008 how difficult the rain and the wind were to handle.
“International rugby gives you the opportunity to test yourself in the most difficult conditions. But conditions are something that we don’t have any control over. It will be the same for both teams. At the end of the day the team that is able to use these factors to the best of their ability, will come out victorious,” he explained.
The speedster believes their accuracy and execution was not where they wanted it to be last week. They will have to raise the bar if they want to win the game.
“Last week we were on the back foot for most of the game. After the yellow card everything started going against us and it was difficult to come back. The physicality in last week’s Test it was not any different to what it was in Hamilton, Durban and Bloemfontein last year.
“Part of the solution is a change in attitude. All the role players will have to stick to the systems,” he added.