Last year’s meeting between the two sides at the same stadium was a classic, with New Zealand producing a strong finish to win 38-27, and McCaw said he is hoping for a similarly thrilling encounter.
“Playing against the Springboks at Ellis Park is one of the ultimate challenges of Test footy. The atmosphere is great, it’s never easy to play here, it’s pretty daunting but that’s the sort of atmosphere you want to play in. I hope it’s a dry day because both sides want to have a crack,” McCaw said after the All Blacks’ captain’s run was cut short by a thundershower at Ellis Park yesterday.
While today’s Test will mark a special milestone for McCaw as he passes the legendary Colin Meads’ mark of 133 games for the All Blacks, the loose forward typically deflected attention to the team performance.
“Afterwards that might be something to reflect on, but it’s exciting enough just playing the Boks at Ellis Park. It will be nice to sit back and reflect on the game after a good performance,” McCaw said.
The World Cup-holding captain also dismissed the suggestion that the Springboks would bring a one-dimensional game plan to the final game of the Rugby Championship.
“I think they’ll show intent to use the ball when the opportunity presents itself. It was pretty greasy in Wellington, but they still showed intent then. We need to stop them from doing that,” McCaw said.
Whatever the outcome, the Test is bound to add to the history of Springboks/All Blacks clashes and the special bond that exists between the two nations across the Indian Ocean.
“There’s a lot of respect between the All Blacks and the Springboks and, whatever the outcome, I’m sure we’ll have a beer afterwards,” the highly-respected skipper said.