All Blacks expect ‘ferocious battle’
Mon, 10 Sep 2012 18:55
The All Blacks-South Africa rivalry is legendary
The All Blacks are wary of a Springbok backlash when the two great rivals clash at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday.
All Black assistant coach Ian Foster said the unbeaten world champions won’t underestimate struggling South Africa, who showed glimpses of what they are comfortable of in their narrow away loss to Australia last weekend.
''It was a desperate Test. I think both teams really threw everything at that game and it was tight right up until the end,” said Foster of the Test in Perth.
"We expect nothing different on Saturday night. South Africa are coming off a draw and a loss and it's really important for them that they get a win. The All Blacks-South Africa rivalry is legendary, so we know it's going to be a very ferocious battle,'' he added.
Reflecting on the All Blacks’ disjointed win over Argentina, Forster highlighted the team’s ability to adapt to the testing conditions and the Pumas' unique defensive system as a positive to take from the performance.
''The pleasing thing was the way the players were figuring things out as we went along. The first 40 was terrible and the conditions made it very hard to play the way we wanted to play,'' he said.
''It probably forced us in to making a few decisions we probably shouldn't have made and that didn't help us stretch the Argentineans the way we wanted to... We are playing at an intensity and speed level that we're pretty excited about, that we're getting right.
''We haven't quite got the finishing on it just yet, but particularly last week I thought the last 30 minutes of the game showed we were reasonably close to getting some things right."
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