September 21, 2021

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Springboks feature | Redemption on the cards for Nyakane and Smith

3 min read

Trevor Nyakane and Kwagga Smith have a massive point to prove as they strive for redemption in the first Test match against the British & Irish Lions.

The Springboks host the series opener at Cape Town Stadium with kick-off scheduled for 18:00 on Saturday.

READ | SPRINGBOKS VS BRITISH & IRISH LIONS SET FOR AR OF ATTRITION

NYAKANE TO MEND WORLD CUP HEARTBREAK

Trevor Nyakane tragically limped off in the Rugby World Cup group stage opener against New Zealand after he tore his right calf.

Unfortunately, this injury would see him miss the rest of the World Cup after working so hard to get into the side after a series of prior injuries. Nyakane has an opportunity to med the heartbreak caused by this injury. Missing the World Cup is beyond gutting but if there was ever an opportunity a redemption, this is it.

Opportunity arises as Nyakane earns a start against The British & Irish Lion and with it. The chance to give his personal contribution to the Boks success that he so desperately craves and deserves. Nyakane has given so much to the game in South Africa, first at the Cheetahs and then the Bulls. He has had some big games in the green and gold but has a point to prove to himself after the gutting end to his tournament in Tokyo in 2019.

He is starting ahead of regular started Frans Malherbe and a strong showing in the first Test could see him start and finish the series as the starting number 3. Now it is up to Nyakane to play his heart out and stomp his authority.

The front row battle will be ferocious with the side able to impose dominance in the scrum likely to win the series. The scrum provides a stable platform that gets your side on the front foot on attack and also provides an opportunity to win crucial penalties to relieve pressure on defense and to apply pressure on the scoreboard.

KWAGGA CAN SILENCE THE CRITICS WHEN IT MATTERS MOST

Kwagga steps up to the plate for the injured Bok veteran, Duane Vermeulen. The series is as big as it gets and so is Kwagga’s heart.

They say it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the fight in the dog. This applies heavily to Smith, he may not be the biggest forward around but his passion and heart make up for it. He is elusive and gritty, what he lacks in size he makes up in passion and determination.

The Boks pride themselves in massive forwards that are able to physically impose themselves. Physicality is in the Boks DNA, we bullied our way to World Cup success in 2019 and it will always be a huge part of how we play the game. From the scrum to the maul and waves of big hits on defense and heavy carries. This is why Smith was dropped from the starting lineup in the World Cup.

However, Smith offers a more dangerous option in broken play and pace on the counter. Having previously played for the Blitzbokke he is an extremely fit and highly skilled player. He will also be able to provide strong cover in and an option in the loose. This is his chance to shine for the Boks against Gatland’s Lions and to silence his critics and show his value.

READ | BRITISH & IRISH LIONS | SPRINGBOKS AIMING TO BE THE ONLY SIDE IN SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE TO WIN SERIES IN THE LAST 12 YEARS

The 12-year wait is finally over and for Nyakane and Smith redemption lies in wait ahead of this war of attrition.

Greatness beckons for our Springbok stars as they look to cement their place in history by stomping their authority (literally) in this prestigious series.