CAPE TOWN – It doesn’t get much bigger in Test rugby than facing the All Blacks.
That is certainly true for the Springboks, and considering how their last three games have gone, the pressure-cooker is boiling over in Cape Town this week ahead of Saturday’s Newlands showdown.
It is probably difficult for Allister Coetzee and his players to switch off from how they are going to engineer a turnaround from the record 57-0 humiliation to New Zealand in Albany, but some of them managed to do just that on Wednesday afternoon in the Mother City.
Trevor Nyakane, Jesse Kriel, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Rudy Paige and Louis Schreuder got a chance to “learn” some boxing skills from the young ladies at Boxgirls South Africa, who are from Harare near Khayelitsha, and children who are part of the Zip Zap Circus, at the Springbok Experience museum at the V&A Waterfront.
Boxgirls and the Zip Zap Circus are two of the projects funded by Laureus Sport For Good Foundation South Africa, who hosted the event.
On the other side of the city, the likes of Bok captain Eben Etzebeth, Dillyn Leyds, Damian de Allende, Ross Cronjé, Ruan Dreyer and Sbu Nkosi attended an Asics signing session at the Totalsports store at Canal Walk Shopping Centre.
“I feel like, as a sportsman or anyone in general, you’ve got to do whatever makes you enjoy what you’re doing. I know it’s a hectic week and there’s big pressure, but spending time with the kids is what life is all about – just to see the smiles on their faces,” Nyakane said.
The Bulls strongman will hope that it turns into an even better week on Thursday, when Coetzee will name his team to take on the world champions.
Nyakane has been largely used as a tighthead prop off the bench, but with Dreyer’s battles in the scrum last week, Nyakane will hope to get more game time at Newlands – if not a starting berth.
And let’s hope that, like the members of the Boxgirls club, the Bok forwards pack a punch!