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Ken Borland

All Blacks expect Boks to play with more width

Posted on October 22, 2012 by Ken


New Zealand are expecting South Africa to play with more width than in their previous meeting when they clash in a Rugby Championship Test in Soweto on Saturday, assistant coach Ian Foster said on Tuesday.

The All Blacks scraped past the Springboks 21-11 in Dunedin on September 15 with the visitors missing 20 points at goal.

But the South Africans bounced back to form with a morale-boosting 31-8 win over Australia in Pretoria last weekend, scoring five tries.

“They seem to have the intent to play with more width than they did against us in Dunedin and they may chuck a few different things at us on Saturday. We’ll need to assess where the threats are and make the adjustments.

“If you want to play expansive rugby, then there is the risk of errors and we’ve been through that process. It’s not something that comes naturally,” Foster told reporters in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

But the All Blacks are also expecting the Springboks to still bombard them with high kicks on the highveld.

“We still expect high balls and a tough physical battle through the forwards. Some things don’t change,” Foster said.

“We pride ourselves under the high ball, but the Springboks have put us under pressure with it in the past and they punish you if you drop it. Plus it goes a lot higher at altitude! We’ll have to work together as a unit at the back,” fullback Israel Dagg added.

The All Blacks also won in fine style at the weekend, beating Argentina 54-15 in La Plata to clinch the Rugby Championship title, and the world champions said the small details that had been lacking in the campaign thus far seemed to have clicked against the Pumas.

“We were pretty satisfied but the margins are still very small.

The pack definitely stepped up in Argentina and it was great to see the plans finally come together,” hooker Keven Mealamu said.


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