Port Elizabeth - The Springboks might be fielding a young and inexperienced team in their Incoming Tours match against Scotland in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, but captain Victor Matfield has warned that there rests a deeper responsibility on the shoulders of every player.
According to the supersport.com website, Matfield was speaking shortly before the team photo and captain’s run for the final Test in the four week June Test period where the Boks will want to end the month unbeaten with a solid victory over the Scots.
But while the Boks should have too much firepower, their poor performance a week earlier, where they beat Wales by a solitary point has pushed a reminder that if you are only slightly off your game plan you will come unstuck.
The Bok captain said this reminder was something his team needed to remember when they go onto the field, especially as there are six uncapped players in the squad.
"Firstly it is a great opportunity for those guys getting their first chance.
"The nice thing is that we’ve had a big squad for the last four weeks, so they’ve been in the system for four weeks now.
"Now they get their opportunity, now they need to show what they can do," Matfield said.
"It is a young Springbok side going out onto the field on Saturday, but it is still a Springbok side, so there is responsibility on every player that will go onto the field to go out and perform."
The Boks had made a lot of mistakes in the previous week against Wales and came back at the end to win it.
Accuracy and a need to take the opportunities when they present themselves is something they will focus on this weekend.
"Last week the Welsh came out and played well and luckily we won that game.
"In any Test match if you make mistakes you’re going to be punished.
"It’s about getting out there, getting in front and limiting the mistakes.
"Then it should be a good game."
The Bok captain said Scotland was always a tough game for the team, as the Scots played above themselves when they faced the Boks. But as long as the Boks are accurate, they should be able to impose themselves on the opposition.
“We focus more on ourselves, we did have a look at what they do and somehow they always come up as a tough game for the Springboks.
"They play with a lot of heart and the breakdown is very important for them, they believe if they take us on a bit lower it will be tough for us.
“We’ve worked on a few things to drop our height and go in lower.
"This is our last game before the Rugby Championship so we really need to fire on Saturday."
The injection of youth is a great thing for the team, but accuracy was the key word this week and the younger players may well be excited, but they need to be accurate when they take the field on Saturday.
"It is great to get that enthusiasm, they just want to get up and go, and you almost have to slow them down and say ‘let’s make sure we’re accurate’.
"They just want to go.
"You need to be accurate, it doesn’t matter who you play, it is all about accuracy.
"The first game against Wales we gave away only one penalty the whole game, they couldn’t get into the game and we had all the opportunities.
Unfortunately in the first half in Nelspruit we made too many mistakes, they had all the ball and we had to defend.
So hopefully we can keep the ball and it will look better at halftime this week.
"Heyneke is happy with his squad, and a few guys getting opportunity will help him as well.
"It is good for these guys to get an opportunity and challenge for a starting berth.
"A lot of them made a stand in Super Rugby and can try to win a start in the Rugby Championship."