ABs take aim at Boks

Mon, 01 Oct 2012 19:03
Large samwhitelockabstraining Large samcaneabstraining Large ma anonusoweto2010

With the Rugby Championship trophy in the bag, the All Blacks have set their sights on the Springboks.

With the Rugby Championship trophy in the bag, the All Blacks have set their sights on the Springboks.

The world champions on Monday dispelled any thoughts of them resting on their laurels at the 94,000-seat FNB Stadium in Soweto this Saturday after they clinched the Rugby Championship title with an emphatic win over the Pumas at the weekend.

Forwards Sam Cane and Sam Whitelock spoke of the rich rivalry between New Zealand and South Africa and what a win would mean over the old foe on South African soil.  
"We've won the championship but we've parked that now," Cane said. "What we're focused on is winning over here.

“They've always been big Test matches and it's always more rewarding, hearing from the older guys, to win over here because of the challenge.
"We talked about last week playing against the Argentinians at home and then coming to play the South Africans here.

"They are probably the toughest two places to win in world rugby. If we can do that, we'll be pretty happy."

Whitelock added that they are determined to finish the campaign unbeaten and stretch their winning streak to 16 at the venue where they broke Springbok hearts with a last-gasp win in then captain John Smit’s 100th Test.
"The challenge for us to play well this week and put a solid performance together is huge. With the competition being new, it will be great to start it off with a clean sweep," Whitelock said.
Cane said the possibility of fatigue hampering the visitors on the Highveld would be "next to minimum" and felt the true challenge would be rising above the 90,000-strong South African supporters.

"I guess the big thing they've got is that they'll have about 90,000 Africans behind them. We'll want to start well and similar to what we did on Saturday, take the crowd out of it early," said Cane.
Whitelock added that an away win over the Springboks would underline the progress the team have made since the start of the season.
"For us, the challenge of playing well every week is definitely there and that's something we're striving to do," Whitelock said. "Steve [Hansen] and the whole team are really keen to improve."