Boks 'respect' the New Zealand way

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 16:55

BIG TEST BUILD-UP: South Africa accept that they are some distance behind New Zealand in the game's global pecking order.

According to Springbok assistant coach Johann van Graan, one of the reasons for the chasm between the back-to-back World Cup winning All Blacks and the rest of the world is the way the Kiwis do things.

And it will be a "lengthy" process for any team wishing to close that gap.

"We have a lot of respect for New Zealand and the way they do things," Van Graan told a media briefing at team's Clearwater base in Christchurch - ahead of their Rugby Championship showdown on Saturday.

"They have a fantastic coaching staff," he said of the All Blacks, adding: "There is a lot of continuity and their succession plan is very good."

Van Graan, when asked how long it may take the Boks to get up to that standard, suggested it will be a "lengthy" process.

"At the Bulls, it took quite a few years," he said, adding: "All credit to [former Springbok coach] Heyneke [Meyer], his coaching staff and players back then [in the 1990s].

"It took six to seven years to win Super Rugby for the first time. Then it took another two years before winning it two more times.

"A team like the Chiefs have been together for more than four years now.

"If you look at New Zealand, they lost in the [World Cup] quarterfinal [in 2007]. They came back and have been together for eight years.

"They won the World Cup [in 2011], then Steve [Hansen] took over [from Graham Henry as head coach]. He [Hansen] was an assistant coach for close to 100 matches [from 2004 to 2011] and then became the head coach.

"They have gone from strength to strength.

"It takes time [to become successful],: he said, adding that you can't "buy" experience.

"The only way you get that is to play Test matches together."

He suggested that the media and fans in South Africa - looking for instant success - may be a touch too impatient.

"We have a rugby mad nation in South Africa that demand results and want to see the Springboks win," Van Graan told the media gathering.

"It is our job to win and perform. That is what we have to deliver.

"It is not easy, but that is our job.

"We would love to be No.1, but at this stage, we are chasing No.1.

"That is why I respect New Zealand, the way they do things and the way they conduct themselves."

@rugby365com

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