Eliminate errors against All Blacks, says Boks coach
IF THERE was ever going to be a match that could fully convince South African rugby fans that the Springboks have turned the corner, it is the Test against New Zealand in the Rugby Championship tomorrow.
Unlike when the Boks faced Australia with a bullish approach, Allister Coetzee’s side is expected to adopt a more calculated approach .
Coetzee, who picked flanker Jean-Luc du Preez to replace the injured Jaco Kriel and Ruan Dreyer to start in place of prop Coenie Oosthuizen, has warned against allowing Steve Hansen’s men too much room to operate in.
“They are the No1 side in the world, both in rankings and experience, and there is no greater contest than to play them in New Zealand,” the Boks coach said.
The rivalry between the two sides has a rich history and on Saturday we get an opportunity to be part of that.
“They are always at their best when playing the Springboks and we are expecting another huge battle. There are no room for errors against the All Blacks because they will punish you for every mistake.
“We have prepared well for this challenge and we will get another opportunity to gain more valuable experience as we continue to grow as a team.”
The changes in Coetzee’s team do not end with just Dreyer and Du Preez.
Franco Mostert returns to the starting lineup, reclaiming his place from Pieter-Steph du Toit, who drops to the bench.
Elton Jantjies and Ross Cronje get another chance to combine, but this time be confronted with the best half-back pairing in the world consisting of Beauden Barrett and Aaron Smith.
Given their poor history against New Zealand away from home, the Boks will want to add to the two victories they have managed in their the last 10 matches there, with seven of those matches going to the home side and one ending as a draw.
To make things even more difficult for the Boks, New Zealand made light work of Argentina last week.
While the Boks have improved, with their 23-23 draw against Australia proving that, there is no conclusive proof yet that they are capable of beating the All Blacks.
UNLEASH THE BEAST: Springbok prop Tendai Mtawarira.