CAPE TOWN – When you’ve won virtually everything, like the All Blacks have, it must be difficult to “get up” for a dead-rubber.
That is what is facing the world champions on Saturday at Newlands, having already won the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup, and now they come up against a team in the Springboks whom they hammered 57-0 the last time they met.
For offload extraordinaire Sonny Bill Williams, it will be even harder. Apart from being the master when it comes to getting the ball away in the tackle, Williams won yet another event on Thursday morning at the team hotel.
“You forgot the power session this morning (pointing at Crotty) – we had a race with Crotty up and down the stairs, and he’s not happy about that!” the 32-year-old centre said at a press conference in Newlands on Thursday.
“But yeah, in all seriousness, when it comes down to putting on that jersey for the All Blacks, you want to win. There’s pressure there, no matter what – especially coming from within the environment, and then obviously back home in New Zealand.”
Saturday’s sold-out showdown is essentially a dead-rubber, but that doesn’t bother Williams.
“We’re a proud rugby nation, so it doesn’t really matter if it’s a dead-rubber or not, we are going out there to win. And we know that the South African team are gonna be hurting from the last game.”
Williams is almost more famous in Cape Town than in New Zealand, and he says he hopes to put on a special performance for the local All Black fans.
“Yeah, I do enjoy Cape Town. And one day, God-willing, I will bring my girls across. But yeah, it’s about doing my job and being where I need to be for my teammates. And I’ve got confidence that if I can do that, then hopefully we’ll put on a show.”