PRETORIA - Former Springbok captain Victor Matfield believes Saturday's clash against the All Blacks at Loftus is set to be a season-defining encounter. Although the All Blacks have already wrapped up the Rugby Championship title, there is still plenty for the Boks to play for in the final round of action this Saturday.
After claiming their first win in New Zealand since 2009 when they stunned the All Blacks at the Westpac Stadium on September 15, the Springboks are now aiming to achieve the rare feat of securing back-to-back wins over their archrivals. Chatting to SARugbymag.co.za before this Saturday's encounter in Pretoria, Matfield said he had been highly encouraged by the progress that the Boks were making.
"The comeback and victory against New Zealand was outstanding. It's not just any team that can go over there and beat the All Blacks, and then they backed it up with a win over Australia ... But we're all waiting for this weekend, I think this will show where we are exactly (as a team)."
When asked what he felt was setting the Boks apart at the moment, Matfield suggested it was the insatiable work-rate of the players. "I just think the Boks are demonstrating an unbelievable work rate. If you see a lot of the tries we've scored, it's because we're in the faces of the opponent the whole time. The work rate and the way the players are working for each other is really good."
Matfield, who played plenty of matches at Loftus during his career, said he thought the atmosphere this Saturday would be particularly special. "It's going to be one of the best atmospheres we've had in a Test match for a long time, I can't wait for the anthems and haka, I think the stadium will go mad ... No one can wait for this game, it's going to be great."
African News Agency (ANA)