Boxing and Ninaber are under pressure to avoid a shock defeat in the Wales series



Of course, the Springboks will face more serious challenges this year, but with only two games in the test season, it’s already a do-or-die question for the team.

Expectations for world champion Springboks are high after a good Rugby Unified Championship campaign by local franchises: The Stormers won the trophy a few weeks ago, but after just two games coach Jacques Ninaber and his team are under pressure.

And they dare not leave Wales in Cape Town on Saturday – the same venue where the Stormers beat the Bulls – to lift the URC trophy and delight thousands of South African rugby fans.

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Boxing got off to a bad start in the first match of the series against Wales in Pretoria. They took the win to the death thanks to the fearless conversion of exciting defender Damian Willems, but there were cracks in the game.

Then, in order to give all team members playing time and reward several outstanding URC players, Nienabeer decided to replace 14 starters for the second Test at Bloemfontein. Against an improved and confident Wales, a changed Boxing nearly walked away with a win but lost by almost the last blow of the game, ensuring Saturday’s match would be decisive.

The defeat in the Free State capital was the first for the sides in South Africa against Wales and only the seventh in history for the away side against South Africa.

In the previous three series, “Boxing” has always won – 2:0 in 2002, 2008 and 2014.

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Boxing has won 11 times against Wales in South Africa, 22 times in Wales and five times on no man’s land. History tells us that the Boks are the dominant team between them, but with 80 minutes left in this series, there are very few of them.

Nienaber returned to what seemed to be his the strongest and best composition for the decider: at least 20 players from 23 rounds played their part in the triumph at the 2019 World Cup. It’s a stable, proven combination and should always beat this one game winning Wales team. in the unsuccessful Six Nations campaign earlier this year, but they have become more confident as their tour of South Africa has continued.

Right now, Wayne Pivak’s team is looking better of the two – they hold their positions up front, they defend strongly, and when they get the ball fast from the front foot, they ask a lot of questions of Bok’s defense.

How will Ninaber’s team react to what has become a big game for the world champions? The first Rugby Championship match against the All Blacks, who themselves will take part in the big test decider against Ireland tomorrow, is just around the corner.

The first ever defeat in a series against Wales on home soil is almost unimaginable.