Ellis Park is the pinnacle – Mo’unga

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First five-eighths Richie Mo'unga said the cycle was a repetitive churning to break opponents down.


"Set-piece, round-the-corner, penalties, penalty shots. We've talked about ways to combat that, so we're looking forward to getting stuck into our work this week," he said.


It was not a mental issue. It was skills-related.


"You don't have to be in the right frame of mind to catch a ball or to complete your job and do the basics well.


"Not executing those put us under pressure and, again, as I said, put us into the cycle that South African rugby do so well."


Plans to cope with the rush defence in the first Test had not been achieved.


Mo'unga said some depth, width, variation in attack, kicking and passing were all ways of coping better.

It was frustrating not being able to break the run of losses, but that was why they were called Test matches, he said.


"They test you mentally, they test your skill and I'm really looking forward to, hopefully, getting a crack this weekend against the South Africans to show what we can do, but also to…we have to learn. This is a level where you have got to learn and adapt and if you don't, you're going to keep coming off second best which we have the last couple of games."


He was familiar with Ellis Park. It had plenty of history and was the home of South African rugby.


"Nothing compares to it. For me, this is the pinnacle. This is where you want to be playing - against a team that is awesome.


"The noise, 60,000, the altitude, you feel the blood in your lungs, you can taste that but just understanding the history that has gone there before. It's a privilege to be able to have the opportunity to play at a place like that."


While there was pressure, especially in New Zealand, to perform, Mo'unga said it was hard for younger players who hadn't experienced that before and on families.


"My mindset doesn't change. My energy doesn't change. I'm just champing at the bit to have another crack. But, I'm also at the point where the outside noise doesn't matter to me. I'm at a stage where, if you're not in our team, in our squad, I don't really care what you think.


"In all respect, what I'm trying to do is what the team needs me to do. I understand the fans, and people out there, can get a bit frustrated with results, but we are trying our best and we know it's not good enough or up to All Blacks standards, so preparation will be very deep to get a result this weekend," he said.


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