Boks have a chance in All Blacks Test

• But no-loss Boks in with chance as Hansen cops flak

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When it comes to the Spring­boks, it is amaz­ing the dif­fer­ence a year makes. Al­lis­ter Coet­zee’s charges had to drag them­selves to Christchurch in 2016 to man up to the All Blacks and the re­sult was a ham­mer­ing.

Re­gard­ing the Spring­boks, it is amaz­ing the dif­fer­ence a year has made. Al­lis­ter Coet­zee’s charges had to drag them­selves to Christchurch in 2016 to face the All Blacks and the re­sult was a 41-13 ham­mer­ing.

The All Blacks dished out a 57-15 hid­ing in Dur­ban a few weeks later.

Now, af­ter a six-match win­ning streak, the Spring­boks have ev­ery rea­son to be con­fi­dent ahead of Satur­day’s Rugby Cham­pi­onship date against the Ki­wis at the North Har­bour Sta­dium in Al­bany.

But the Boks have not won in New Zealand in eight years and any All Blacks side, even when shorn of their first-choice front row and with eight changes from the most re­cent en­counter, are still a for­mi­da­ble en­tity.

Coet­zee wanted to be qui­etly con­fi­dent about his team’s chances, but there is a feel­ing the All Blacks may be sav­ing their best for their ul­ti­mate foes. Coet­zee also said he had fi­nally adapted to the chal­lenge of coach­ing at in­ter­na­tional level.

“It’s great to hear from [All Blacks coach] Steve Hansen and the guys there that they recog­nise we’re a happy team and the fact they have se­lected their strong­est side [is a com­pli­ment].

“That’s all good but it comes down to the 80 min­utes on Satur­day. There’s al­ways been re­spect be­tween the sides but we are well pre­pared and we’re in for a hel­luva Test match,” Coet­zee said.

“It’s been bloody chal­leng­ing coach­ing at in­ter­na­tional level, es­pe­cially in rugby-mad coun­tries with the sup­port­ers that we have. I sup­pose it’s the same all over, but be­ing the South African to man­age the moods of mil­lions all over is not an easy job but it comes with the job.

“I’m happy our play­ers are in good shape be­cause our big thing was the abil­ity to con­test at this level is de­ter­mined by our Su­per Rugby con­di­tion­ing and

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