SA ready for 'irritated' NZ

2010-07-06 09:26

Auckland - John Smit says his Springboks are braced for an "irritated" All Blacks team in the Tri-Nations opener at Eden Park on Saturday.

The touring skipper believes South Africa's whitewash of the All Blacks over three Tests last year will have New Zealand primed for revenge.

Smit fronted a large media gathering in Auckland on Tuesday where he left little doubt about the challenge he felt his side faced in defending their Tri-Nations title this season, especially in a campaign they open in New Zealand with back-to-back Tests in Auckland and Wellington.

"The All Blacks are going to be as competitive as they were last year, if not more so because of the fact that they didn't win it last year," Smit said.

"They are the team that has won the Tri-Nations the most out of all three of us. Not winning it really irritates them.

"I'm pretty sure they are going to rock up pretty worked up and ready to go on Saturday."

The Springboks have not beaten the All Blacks at Eden Park since 1937 and the last home defeat for New Zealand there was in 1994 against France.

Smit said that history wasn't lost on his team.

"It's a tough place to play rugby against a tough team," he said of Eden Park.

Asked how his side could make their own history there, he said: "You try and come with the best you have got and you certainly try to stick to your strengths. If you can do that and manage to get a few things right … that hasn't been done for a long time because it is such a big challenge. So we are certainly up against it on Saturday."

The fact that Eden Park would be the World Cup headquarters next year when the Boks defend their world title had little relevance to this test, according to Smit who refused to be drawn into the psychological benefits of winning there after victories in Dunedin and Hamilton over the previous two years.

"It's important for us to succeed in every test," he emphasised with the Boks operating under an expectancy that perhaps only the All Blacks can understand.

"For us to get too wrapped up in the World Cup now would be a bit foolish. We have a three-week campaign that takes us halfway through the Tri-Nations and they are three important games because we haven't had much success in Brisbane (against Australia) either.

"It will be the lessons learnt that will help us towards the next World Cup."

He had watched the June tests in New Zealand and Australia with interest as the All Blacks and Wallabies tuned up but read little into them as far as what their impact on the Tri-Nations might be.

"It's hard to judge where teams are at this early in the year – time will tell. It's always a challenge coming here and you can see that by how seldom we have been able to achieve a result.

"So it's nice to come here and have two cracks in a row. But it's only really nice if you are able to get success on the road

The Tri-Nations was about maintenance and improvement along the way whether you were winning or losing.

"Any one of the three teams can lose on any weekend and that's what makes it such a challenging tournament. You have to try and make a statement every single weekend."

Rugby Heaven

  • Emperor - 2010-07-06 09:41

    John Smit, you are a LEGEND.

  • Mary - 2010-07-06 09:46

    I hope the Boks lose this Tri-nations just like they did the one before the 2007 World Cup. Give the Aussies and AB's the big heads, that way we come in humble and with the right mind set.

  • Springbok - 2010-07-06 09:55

    Lets hope Balsak gets over the Super 14 Loss and can Support all the Bok Players...and stop making crazy statements that Fourie de Preez and Victor Matfield and Morne Steyn are not up to international standard. Gee to much Tik and Papsak...

  • Joeman - 2010-07-06 09:58

    Now this is war ! not that pussy football/soccer

  • Kings - 2010-07-06 10:01


  • mike - 2010-07-06 10:02


  • Mark Trollem - 2010-07-06 10:05

    I don't understand, I thought both SA and NZ didn't make it past the group stages?!?

  • keith - 2010-07-06 10:15

    This is going to be a hell of a TN series!

  • dale - 2010-07-06 10:16

    Boks 4eva!

  • Rus - 2010-07-06 10:17

    Just wait till Brad Thorne thumps the legend on the ground just like a couple of years back...

  • Jennifer Ndlovu - 2010-07-06 10:18

    when im watching the Boks i dont want any one to desturb me becouse of the way they are playing, their game is saying watch me.

  • sd - 2010-07-06 10:20

    ek is soooo trots op ons kaptein en span - 'n voorspeler wat kan praat en sy man kan staan - as hy ons president kon wees het dit dalk beter gegaan, haha!

  • Sheriff - 2010-07-06 10:21

    John Smit - You will lead our team to a second Trinations tittle in a row and a second World cup in a row - YOU ARE A LEGEND

  • Steve - 2010-07-06 10:22

    who is John Smit.

  • Bok Supporter - 2010-07-06 10:23

    Smit is a legend. It will be some time before we have another Captain of his calibre. As for the boks, ther is a real maturity about the team. Something that comes with consistent performance. I believe SA has the talent to remain a consistent and dominant force in world rugby. Although I don't agree with all Divvies selections, he is a good coach and has brought some calm and consistency in coaching after years of turmoil in SA rugby. don't be fooled, the All Blacks are a great team and present a mamoth challenge, especially when playing at home. But as a die hard Bok Supporter I believe that we have the guns to beat them on the day and any other team for that matter, in this Tri Nations and next year's RWC. This is not arrogance but quiet confidence. The time has come where players make the squad on merrit, even the parasitic politicians have backed off now. Now our game can prosper.... bokke forever!!!

  • Big Willy - 2010-07-06 10:26

    All I can say is - "Captain Smith, UNLEASH HELL!"

  • rugga fan - 2010-07-06 10:27

    get your self bells John

  • wade - 2010-07-06 10:30


  • BALSAK(alias Blue Bul Hater) - 2010-07-06 10:31

    Let's wait and see which Springbok team will take the field!!! But Bobby Skinstad and Corne Krige you are LEGENDS!!!

  • Rob - 2010-07-06 10:32


  • has-been - 2010-07-06 10:36

    John Smit is a "has-been".. .....a quota-player.. ......NOT in the team on merit...

  • loowee late - 2010-07-06 10:43

    im happy we have him in the spoksman position for our squad. if it were anybody else in the team, we'd sound like a barbarian nation.

  • STORMER - 2010-07-06 10:44

    GO THE BOKS!!!!!!!! (This ain't gonna be easy....)

  • Bismarck - 2010-07-06 10:51


  • Stirrer - 2010-07-06 10:51

    What a let down! After all the fantastic football we are back to this poor immitation! I still say, only those who can't play football end up playing rugby!

  • Mark Edwards - 2010-07-06 10:52

    Go Bokke!

  • BALSAK(alias Blue Bull Lover) - 2010-07-06 10:55

    Earl Rose, Ricky Januarie and Chilliboy Ralepelle are LEGENDS..!!

  • bye-bye - 2010-07-06 11:08

    John Smit = overweight = overrated = past his sell by date = time to go

  • STORMER - 2010-07-06 11:11

    Time for Rickie Januarie to take over the captaincy.

  • Adele - 2010-07-06 11:24

    No-one can fill John Smit's captain shoes right now. Even if he only plays for 10 minutes he is worth keeping. He inspires and encourages everyone from the players to the public. John Smit you are a living legend.

  • Boksupport - 2010-07-06 11:29

    You forget quickly, just a few years back the boks could not win a test against a weak Wales. John is awesome. Go Bokke. Best and most successful captain ever in world rugby. Look at the difference against Italy when he came back. The scoreboard does not lie. Rather support him guys, he can play anywhere in the world but he remains the most loyal guy to sarugby. Let us stay loyal to him and show our gratitude for what he has done and continues to do.

  • Laeveld Stormer - 2010-07-06 11:37

    Guys, the AB's already have the phsycological disadvantage... They lost 3-0 last year, they were unsuccessful in the S14 against these same players, the pressure on them is huge to win this test, the way they perform in this 3N will be an indication to their supporters how ready they are for the WC and they do not want to dissapoint. They are desperate and irritated. The way I see it, they've already lost this game. And that is why I am prepared to put my cock on a block and say boks by 20! Now that would be rewriting history! BOKKE!!!

  • A2Z - 2010-07-06 11:39

    Smit you legend, best captain ever! No man can rally his troops like Smit, not even Matfield. Smit has been messed around by the coaches, they made him play in to many different positions all the time which of course will effect your game. Hang in the Smity!!!!!

  • Danie Smith - 2010-07-06 11:41

    Blah Blah Blah is all I hear from all you people..... Give the Bokke a change there are a lot of new tallent and we need to get them ready for the World Cup forget about the Tri Nations is it a learning curve!!! Go South Africa make us Proud win or loose!!!

  • A2Z - 2010-07-06 11:41

    Smit you legend, best captain ever! No man can rally his troops like Smit, not even Matfield. Smit has been messed around by the coaches, they made him play in to many different positions all the time which of course will effect your game. Hang in the Smity!!!!!

  • Good captain..?? - 2010-07-06 11:49

    Good captain..?? ...Why then did the Sharks lost their first 5 games in the S14..?? ....Ha ha h ha..!! ..JS is joke..!!

  • Darren Lewis - 2010-07-06 11:50

    Go the All Blacks it's time for Bok meet

  • Effie@ Stormer - 2010-07-06 11:57

    What are u smoking Stormer? Idiot

  • Christian abroad - 2010-07-06 12:02

    Wow!!! Clearly NO ONE WORKS in South Africa as they all post comments on these articles!! Eish!! Oh well, to join the party...guys, out here, abroad, we love our boys in Green and Gold. The Springboks are awesome - all of them LEGENDS. As for John Smit, he is as great a captain as all who have been. Let me throw a spanner out there...has anyone thought of Juan Smit. The guy proves himself over-and-over with the Cheetahs and FS and continuosly is under-rated by the RFU. His ability to turn a game around from the inside speaks volumes for his character! Besides Schalk'y (long arm tactics) or Matfield (too much complaining to the ref on field, ai boet!), we could look to Juan as Captain. That is of course the present situation and these guys 'can like to speak Suth Afriken too much' YUP John Smith may have the job as spokesperson for a little while longer. His form is concerning though of RFU...look towards a backup at the very least guys - Juan is my vice captain and should be pulled into the interviews - of course, when he returns from his bereavement. Pdv and his mechanic comparison has pretty much wrecked the other options hey??? or what do you Okes that don't work say? By the by...I personally like Pdv as he went to Juan's house and sat down with his family, then decided together that he would wait for Juan to return when things got better after his father passed. Awesome coach if you ask me - he cares which carries huge weight with our Boys. GO BOKKE!!!! Jesus loves you guys (had to say it!)

  • Laeveld Stormer - 2010-07-06 12:16

    Sometimes you need to sacrifice some attributes to gain others. You weigh these up and see how it fits into the big picture, which would be building and maintaining a successful Springbok team. John Smith's leadership / motivational / organisational skills carry so much weight and are so beneficial to the Boks that it would be stupid to omit him from the team based only on his form. As long as he finds the guy in the line-out and scrums when he needs to I am quite happy to sacrifice every other aspect of a hooker's game in return for the captain he has proven to be. Now put a sock in it, he is Legendary!

  • Koos - 2010-07-06 12:18

    Van watter bokke praat julle? Dit die proteas kyk op die foto van smit en se my wat sit op die linker bors. Fok die proteas Lank lewe die AB

  • @good captain ... ?? - 2010-07-06 12:19

    john smit is most experienced captain of all times you dweeb!!!!

  • Boks4Eva - 2010-07-06 12:44

    Go boys!! Gonna be tough, but trust that all will go well. @Darren - learn to spell before u make comment - I mean really

  • alan - 2010-07-06 12:51

    Reading some of the comments about John Smit makes me realise that most you watch rugby with both eyes shut. John Smit deserves all the praise that goes his way. Is he the best hooker in the country, probably not but he is the best leader of players in the green and gold. He is the best Springbok captain since Morne du Plessis or Danie Craven, the current Springbok team (including some injured/non selected players) are probably the best Springbok team to ever play test rugby. These guys look past the old provincialism when they put on the green and gold..... It's time some of their supporters should as well and just enjoy test match rugby win or lose.

  • frik - 2010-07-06 12:54

    yes, i think its time that Pdv give the captaincy to rikkie januarie, man this guy is the man.............such a great ball carrier and reads the game better than any other fly half. give rikie the captaincy coach, he will never let us down espeically if we paly in the motherland, CT. in actual facts we need at least 80% of this team to be a stomer to continue with the great results, im telling you?

  • Zungus - 2010-07-06 13:00


  • Die Gangslang - 2010-07-06 13:16

    Sh!t boytjies, kan ons nie net vir een keer almal saam stem en die Bokke support nie? Dis relatief eenvoudig. Die 15 ouens op die veld met die Groen & Goud gaan dia Haka face. Dis meer as wat meeste van ons kan droom om te beleef. In die afgelope jaar het die Bokke meer bereik (konstant) as meeste spanne. Ek dink dit verdien ondersteuning vir ieder en elk van die manne, ongeag of sy van nou Smit, Aplon, of Ralapelle is. Die Snor is dalk n pikante karakter, maar hy kry die results. Go the Mighty Boks!

  • The good guy - 2010-07-06 13:23

    Rikki lake/january doesn't even get the nod for first choice in the stormers, what is he doing there? pumping up the ball? plenty of other possibilities there and prey that bismark gets well soon coz PLEASE chilly child jaslaaik... giving away two penalties before even touching the ball????

  • Bok all the way - 2010-07-06 13:42

    Go bokke, you will do it, this is the best squad, including injured players, there will be for some time. Show the all blacks who's nr 1 in the world

  • Mof@frik - 2010-07-06 13:42

    Ou Frik, Januarie is mos nie 'n flyhalf nie - vanwaar nou. Hy is mos 'n scrumhalf - of is hy?