The Springboks emerged from Saturday’s massive 38 / 12 victory over the Wallabies in Brisbane with no worrying injuries to report.
The new week presents new challenges against the New Zealand All Blacks, the number one team in the world but it appears that Heyneke Meyer will be able to name an unchanged side for this important clash.
There is an air of happyness in the Springbok camp, yet a groundedness, knowing the challenge they will face in New Zealand, where wins is almost as scarse as chicken teeth.
The Sprinboks will follow the same routine as last week, cutting back on heavy training on Monday but having a gym session and a “flush out” session in the pool. Normal on-field training will resume on Tuesday.
The Springbok team doctor, Craig Roberts, said that only bumps and bruises and small niggles are evident, doing his weekly medical team update. Heyneke Meyer meanwhile described the upcoming Test as the Springboks’ “biggest challenge yet”.
“It’s not often that on a Monday I get to sit here and say no major problems to report,” Dr Roberts said. “There are a few guys who have bumps and bruises that we will nurse through the week, but nobody that we are worried about for the game on Saturday. Jannie got a laceration to his lip early in the game, Bryan Habana got an accidental boot to the groin so he was a bit uncomfortable and JJ has a corked thigh, a bruise but nothing really to worry about.”
Dr Roberts said it was a bit uncommon to have travelled as much as the Boks have done in recent weeks and not to have any injuries. “The guys have been working very hard, but a lot of it comes down to being lucky as well. Rugby is a serious collision sport and sometimes you are lucky and sometimes you’re unlucky,” he said.
Heyneke Meyer added some spice and mirth to the occasion by interjecting that it was also down to “great coaching”, bringing those in attendance down in laughter.
Dr Roberts said it was important to manage the workload, but things were much better on the second week of tour. “Obviously travelling from Argentina to Australia to here takes its toll on the guys so early in the week we are more in a flush-out mode and we’ll try and build towards the rest of the week. We do try and manage their load. So far we’ve done that quite well,” he said. “The jet-lag issues are over now, and there is only a two-hour time difference from Australia. It’s nice for us and the guys are sleeping properly for the first time in eight days so it does make a difference.”