Elim­i­nate er­rors against All Blacks, says Boks coach

Afro Voice (Western Cape) - - Sport - MMASEKEPE MATSEBANE mmasekepem@the­newage.co.za

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 Jean­Luc 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.

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