Springbok coach Allister Coetzee knows his team is under pressure as they gear up for the Rugby Championship.
Coetzee is carrying with him the burden of erasing a painful bit of history and also the expectation of bringing back South Africa’s first southern-hemisphere silverware since the expansion of the competition to include Argentina four years ago.
The Springboks were last kings of the southern hemisphere in 2009 and they hit a new low in their last Test of the competition on home soil last year when conceding their first loss to Argentina, in Durban.
However, Coetzee will have to rally his troops to closing the chapter of Durban by ensuring that they start the competition with victory at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday (5.05pm).
It will undoubtedly be a nervous start for the Boks even though they have had three Tests under their belt under the guidance of Coetzee, but it will be the growing expectation to beat the reigning world champions New Zealand and win the competition that will weigh heavily on the team.
Coetzee says: “I’m looking at improvement after every Test.
“I’m looking at improvement even in the first one that we are going to play which is the most important one for me. I’m not even looking at New Zealand yet and who is in their squad, it is all about Argentina for us.
“The big thing is improvement all the time not just in the fundamentals of the game but in the way we want to play and intensity with which we play.”