James Mortimer 13.Sep.2012Getty Images
Meyer felt that the Springboks draw against the Pumas and loss against the Wallabies came from the team not responding when they needed to react, and the former Super Rugby winning coach with the Bulls will want his team to rise, even though he admitted there would be extra attention on being victorious in the Republic.
“Mental toughness is non-negotiable,” he said.
“So that is why I don’t want any excuses. You must just deal with anything. I’ve said to the players in language that they understand that after these two tests, I will know exactly with which guys I will go forward with. Winning the home tests will be a big focus, but you can see on tour who can handle the pressure every week.”
Meyer was appointed and considered a shrewd appointment in most quarters after replacing Peter de Villiers, but has come under pressure and would dearly love to win despite the hosts having a great advantage according to the current coach.
“In this competition, the All Blacks are way ahead I believe,” he said.
“If you look at their team, they are well balanced and have a lot of experience.”
Meyer then gave individual praise to All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.
“I have the biggest respect for a guy like Richie McCaw. I think he is probably the best player that’s ever played rugby. He is a leader from the front, so it is an unbelievable team at this stage.”
“I have a lot of respect for the All Blacks, but if you don’t believe that you have a chance to win, then you will never win. So, obviously it’s never great if people write us off, but you need some sort of luck and need to play well. I still believe that we can win this game,” he added.
“It’s a huge difference playing the All Blacks in South Africa compared to here, as we don’t have a good record in New Zealand. You have to be tactically astute, 100 per cent disciplined and you need some luck.
He said that winning in New Zealand for the first time in his career as Springboks coach would help.
“It’s always nice if the pressure is off, but I would be very naive if I had to feel that” he said.
“Being the Springbok coach, the pressure is always on. I am used to it in my career.”
“I have always been written off, and my teams have always been written off. So, for me, it’s all the same. But a team usually plays when people write the team off. We haven’t had a good record in New Zealand even with experienced teams, so it can be a win-win for us.