In a remarkable display of skill and speed, Kurt-Lee Arendse, the Springbok’s hat-trick hero, is steadily asserting his claim on the coveted number-11 jersey.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Makazole Mapimpi can sense the competition heating up behind him. Arendse’s outstanding performance earned him the title of Player of the Match, as he scored his 10th try in just eight Springbok tests.
The 27-year-old winger’s first two tries showcased his blistering pace, effortlessly crossing the try line. However, it was his determination during the fight for his third try, with three Wallaby defenders closing in on him, that made his hat-trick truly extraordinary.
Many skeptics would argue that Arendse had no chance of scoring from the position he found himself in, near the touchline and tightly marked by defenders.
Yet, with his lightning speed and nimble footwork, he defied the odds and completed his hat-trick, leaving the Australians in despair, too late to stop him.
Reflecting on his performance, Arendse humbly acknowledged the contribution of the forwards in setting up opportunities for the backs to finish.
He expressed his joy in making a meaningful impact on the team and playing in front of his home crowd while representing his country.
Recognizing the progress the team has made since last year, he expressed his eagerness to continue learning and implementing new skills into his game.
Following his sensational three-try display, it remains to be seen if Arendse will earn a spot in the squad to face New Zealand this Saturday.
Regular wingers Cheslin Kolbe and Mapimpi arrived early to acclimatize to the conditions and will be well-rested for the upcoming match.
Arendse and the players who competed against Australia only arrived in Auckland late on Sunday afternoon and are expected to begin training on Tuesday.
Anticipating the challenge ahead, Arendse emphasized the importance of not underestimating the New Zealand team, known for their formidable skills.
He expressed confidence in seamlessly integrating with the players who traveled earlier, ensuring meticulous preparation as a cohesive unit for the match.
Mzwandile Stick, the Springbok assistant coach, revealed that the impressive performances of certain players in the Wallaby test prompted the coaching staff to revise their plans for the All Blacks matches, resulting in the addition of a few more players to the squad.
Stick lauded Arendse for his outstanding performance, highlighting the fact that he played against one of the world’s best players, Koroibete, in a potent backline. He expressed great satisfaction in witnessing players seize their opportunities and perform admirably