History says Kiwi conquering Boks on the up

The Rugby Championship
by Sam Phillips

Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus insists his side must play better this weekend than they did in New Zealand to beat the Wallabies but history suggests his side's trajectory is on the up whether they win, lose or draw in Port Elizabeth.

South Africa's drought breaking win in New Zealand was the first time the All Blacks have lost on home soil against any single nation since 2009.

The remarkable unbeaten run stretched 39 games and nine years but prior to that 2009 loss to the Boks they were not quite as infallible.

France recorded a stirring 27-22 win in Dunedin in the same year and the Boks beat the Kiwis in the same city 12 months earlier.

The South African side which recorded those victories featured some of their all time greats and the French were fresh off knocking the Kiwis out of the World Cup in their 2007 World Cup quarter final clash.

It takes teams playing at the peak of their powers to roll the all conquering ABs but Erasmus insisted his team must improve to beat the Wallabies.

"We are playing a team that gave us trouble last time we played them and they would be really confident that they can beat us," he said.

"We have to get the result, Port Elizabeth won't get it for us.

"A week in rugby is really short and things can turn around really easy."

The Boks will enter the Sunday morning (AEST) showdown off an emotional high.

Beating the All Blacks on their turf created a sense of euphoria in South Africa - a nation which treats the Boks like rockstars.

Backing up the performance in Wellington will be easier said than done and that is not lost on Erasmus.

"If we go week by week and say this game is so important, this game is so important then we will keep saying it until the World Cup final," he said.

"For us if we can grow we should get the result tomorrow.

"If we can grow from what we did last week we should get the result.

"If we take a step backwards it's going to be a tough game, a losing game probably.

"Every single week we must be better than last week."

Erasmus cuts an entertaining figure in front of the cameras and he rarely beats around the bush.

There are few coaches in any sport around the world, if any, who would begin the discussion about potentially being sacked unprovoked.

That's exactly what the Springboks coach did after the Wallabies beat his side in Brisbane, suggesting his team must go close to rolling the All Blacks to keep his job.

They went better than just going close and the pressure - real or not - on Erasmus has now eased.

While he didn't want to speak for Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, Erasmus did share his thoughts on the high pressure environment coaching creates and the response he expects from the Australians in Port Elizabeth.

"In his first coach he was coach of the year and then the next year you lose a few games and the pressure is on," Erasmus said.

"I just look at the way the people are talking now about the All Blacks.

"They are seeing all these mistakes and holes in their system which we don't see.

"We just felt we were lucky beating them.

"I know Michael and he is a competitive guy.

"I've known him for a while now and the players enjoy him.

"He's had some good results in the past and they beat us last time.

"We have to beat them in this Rugby Championship still - we haven't yet.

"He's sharp enough to handle the pressure and get this team fighting."

The Wallabies face the Springboks in Port Elizabeth on Sunday morning AEST, kicking off at 1:05am AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.