Fri, 17 Sep 2021

Springbok lock Lood de Jager says a change in mentality helped the team upset the British & Irish Lions in the second Test at Cape Town Stadium.

After losing the series opener 22-17 at the same venue, the Boks responded with a resounding 27-9 victory last weekend.

They trailed 9-6 at the break but scored 21 unanswered points in the second stanza to level the series.

The "Bomb Squad" bench, of which De Jager was part of, played a significant role in the turnaround.

During a virtual media briefing on Monday, De Jager said the Boks wanted "to make it personal" after the previous week's defeat.

"Obviously, we were disappointed with what we brought as a bench in that first Test. It may be a bit of game time together, it may be a bit of rustiness. But we don't want to make any excuses. We disappointed ourselves, our coaches and the country," De Jager told reporters.

"For us, not just the bench, but the starting line-up, coaches, management, everybody, we said we are going to make this personal. It's about going out there and playing for your family, the people of this country, people that are less privileged than you.

"So, for us, it was just to make it a bit more personal. I think that fired us up as a bench as well."

Lions coach Warren Gatland questioned whether the Boks could bring the same intensity in the final Test but De Jager is confident that they can replicate the second Test's efforts.

"Firstly, it's about understanding what it's about. It's about more than yourself," De Jager responded.

"You're representing the whole country. Another thing is keeping each other accountable as players and coaches. That means coaches keeping players accountable and players keeping each other accountable, driving standards. Hopefully, we can carry that same energy into this weekend's deciding Test match."

Both team line-ups will be confirmed later on Tuesday.

Source: News24

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