Cape Town – South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has told his players to ignore the need to get a bonus point in Saturday's Rugby Championship clash with Australia at Newlands and simply concentrate on winning the game.
The Springboks trail leaders New Zealand by four points going into the final two games and will want to match their result in Argentina at the weekend ahead of a potential title decider against the All Blacks at Ellis Park on October 5.
“I have told the players to focus on the basics and forget about the bonus point,” Meyer told a news conference on Monday. “We can't look past this game, if we don't at least win it then we are out of the championship.
“There are a lot of scenarios but if you try to work them all out, add and subtract bonus points, then you lose focus on what is important which is working hard on our own game.”
South Africa scored a record away victory in Australia earlier this month when they triumphed 38-12 in Brisbane and the expectation from fans is that bonus-point win will be matched on Saturday.
Meyer praised the Wallabies backline and pack of forwards but also promised an attack-minded approach that has helped his team become the leading point-scorers in this year's competition.
“We will play positive, attack and hopefully score tries. I have been very proud of our attacking level this season,” he added.
“We have scored the most tries and recently recorded our highest winning margins against Argentina and Australia away and that speaks for itself.”
What could scupper the Springboks's bonus-point effort on Saturday is the unusually wet September in Cape Town that could make the ground soft and the ball slippery in the hand.
“It is not something I am worried about,” said Meyer. “The 2015 World Cup (in England) will probably be wet so in the back of your mind you also think it might actually be good to plan for that.”
The coach added South Africa might make one or two changes from the side that lost to New Zealand in controversial circumstances last time out.
Lock Flip van der Merwe, centre JJ Englebrecht and prop Gujthro Steenkamp need fitness tests later this week to determine if they will be fit. – Reuters