Bakkies Botha who plays in his 50th Test in Carisbrook says he was born for hard physical games and it cannot get more physical than in the House of Pain.
Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that Bakkies Botha could hardly have asked for more. His 50th rugby Test will be at Carisbrook against New Zealand.
“This is what I was born for,” the Springbok lock forward said here on Thursday. “I enjoy a physical game and this is what it will be all about on Saturday,” he said. “You can’t get anything more physical.
“You want to be tested against the best and it does not come better than from the All Blacks.”
The Blue Bulls warrior will reach his half century of matches for South Africa when the Springboks and the All Blacks meet in the Tri-Nations Test at the House of Pain.
However, he does not want to overemphasise the fact that this will be a milestone.
It’s not about Bakkies Botha’s 50th Test or about history in Dunedin, he said. “To me it feels as if I’ll be playing in my first Test.
“The main thing about this 50th Test is that it comes through grace from above. It is the Lord who gave you the talent and who still gives you the power to play.
“The 50th Test is a great privilege but then one looks ahead. I think the 100th will be even bigger.
Turn the tables
“This, after all, is what it’s all about: to offer what you can to the team and to leave the field as winners.”
Botha has an important role on Saturday. He must establish authority up front, which could be even more important in the absence of New Zealand’s Brad Thorn, who has been suspended after misbehaving last week.
Botha feels South Africa can turn the tables on the New Zealanders after the defeat in Wellington.
“We know now what to expect from the All Blacks,” he said. “We did not play them in the World Cup last year. Now the teams have taken a good look at each other.
“We will test each other in the scrums and lineouts this week.
“We want to win. End of the story. We believe in our hearts we can beat the All Blacks.
“It will be tough and merciless, yes, but everyone believes we can do it.”
Bismarck du Plessis, who takes over from injured Springbok hooker John Smit in the starting lineup, said the South Africans would remain calm and would not let the All Blacks unnerve them.
“One penalty can change a game,” Du Plessis said, adding that it was a wonderful feeling to be back in the run-on team for a Test.
“As a youngster, you want to play against the All Blacks and to face the haka in their country,” he said.Tweet