Boks have a chance in All Blacks Test
• But no-loss Boks in with chance as Hansen cops flak
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