Rugby Championship

Smit: Forget the Championship!

2013-10-04 13:00
John Smit (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Decorated former Springbok captain John Smit believes winning the Rugby Championship should not be the focal point for South Africa and they should rather focus on their continued upward trajectory.

“For me, the Championship (title) is irrelevant for this team. It is about progression and beating the All Blacks. It's about getting these little skeletons on the belt and they’ve been doing it,” Smit said on Thursday.

“This Springbok team has won nine out of 10 Test matches, that is their record, so they are going okay.”

The Springboks could claim the Rugby Championship title for the first time in four years when they faced New Zealand in Saturday’s decider at Ellis Park.

Smit was the last Springbok captain to win the Southern Hemisphere competition back in 2009 and, he believed, coach Heyneke Meyer’s side had the ability to become the top team in world rugby.

“I really like the way our team is going at the moment. What I like about our Springbok team, in comparison with the other teams in international rugby at the moment… they are performing better and better and they have a huge potential to get even better,” he said ahead of the crunch Test.

“Are they (the Springboks) the best yet? No. The All Blacks are still number one. Can they win on Saturday? They most definitely can win on Saturday.”

The Springboks have already shown a 100 percent improvement from last year’s competition where they only managed to win two of their matches and draw one with Argentina.

A victory alone over their traditional foes would indicate the Boks were closing the gap between them and the number one team in the world.

The Boks, however, had greater ambitions. A mere victory would not win them the trophy. To achieve their hopes of winning the championship, they would need to score a four-try bonus point victory over the All Blacks, and prevent the visitors from scoring a bonus point of their own.

Smit believed the Springboks would draw some inspiration from a sold-out Ellis Park crowd which had traditionally been an ally to the team.

“We have an unbelievably hostile crowd - in a good way. They get pumped, they get involved, they shout and scream and they beat drums when the drums are available. We should drop some vuvuzelas there as well,” Smit said.

“We haven’t lost too many games at Ellis Park.”

The Springboks had won eight of their 11 encounters against New Zealand at the stadium, with the visitors’ last victory here dating back to 1997 when they beat the Boks 35-32.

Read more on:    springboks  |  rugby championship  |  john smit  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Lions touring squad named

15 minutes ago

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
76 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
16 August 2014
Australia v New Zealand, Sydney 12:05
South Africa v Argentina, Pretoria 17:00
23 August 2014
New Zealand v Australia, Auckland 09:35
Argentina v South Africa, rgentina 21:10
06 September 2014
New Zealand v Argentina, apier 09:35
Australia v South Africa, erth 12:05
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Do you have faith in coach Heyneke Meyer taking the Springboks to the 2015 Rugby World Cup?

 
 
Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.