John Smit has told his Springboks side that he wants them to finish off the British & Irish Lions at Loftus Versfeld this weekend.
The man who started the scoring in the three Test Castle Serries with his try in Durban last Saturday doesn’t want to have to wait until the third Tesdt in Johannesburg to seal the series.
And he has told his players to be wary of the mental lapses that turned the first Test into a much closer contest than he had hoped for after seeing his side build up a 19 point lead..
“Last Saturday really was a game of two halves, and we all know it was a very tight Test. We lost concentration when we should have closed out the game,” said Smit.
“That is something we want to change. We want to finish off the series at Loftus – they are going to be fighting to survive while we are looking to win the series.
“It does spice up the second game, but we are focusing on what we have to do as a team. The result last weekend was satisfying, but we would be naive to think a similar performance would get the job done this week.
“There are a lot of areas we’d like to tidy up. The first Lions’ game was everything I expected and more.
“It certainly lived up to the hype. When you run out to King’s Park and you see all the red jerseys and hear the chants, and see all the South African flags, you realise you are part of something special.
“A lot of guys were swept up by emotion, and I’m sure now that the first Test is over and done with we will be a lot more composed. Having had those 80 minutes together would have helped us a tremendous deal.”
Smit had to return to the field in the closing stages to steady the Springbok ship as the Lions went in for the kill. He managed to galvanise his troops and maintain a six point advantage.
“Our performance in the last 15 minutes will have reminded us to stay alert. There were mistakes, but that is often the case of the team not sticking to the structure,” admitted Smit.