Boks still 'rated' by All Blacks

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 15:20

BIG GAME IN THE SPOTLIGHT: South Africa may only be ranked fourth and rated rank outsiders, but New Zealand rate them much higher.

The bookmakers have given the All Blacks a 22-point handicap for their Rugby Championship encounter in Christchurch on Saturday.

That is a predicted margin - the biggest in recorded history between the two sides - that will not go down well with the visitors.

And All Black assistant coach Ian Foster also suggested the South Africans will put up sterner resistance than that.

He made it clear there will be "no complacency" for New Zealand.

Foster told a media briefing that the line of questioning made it seem it was just a case of the All Blacks turning up to win.

History, he said, suggested that was never the case against the Springboks.

"This is South Africa," Foster said.

"For us, we're preparing to play a team that historically, and we're talking the last three or four years, they've beat us, they've pushed us really close, they're always physical, the breakdown is a massive battle, the set piece is a very even contest and they've got backs that can play," he added.

It was always a case of a Test against the Springboks being on top of the list of the games the All Blacks look forward to.

"For us, it is still the All Blacks v South Africa and we know how tough these games are. They are certainly playing with a lot of intention, the Springboks. They are moving the ball and we've seen them if you give them any space that they can be very, very dangerous," he said.

Teams will have been working on ways of containing the All Blacks, just as the All Blacks had been studying their opponents.

"As this year rolls on the opposition are going to know more about us, they're getting better whoever we play. While the Springboks have had a couple of losses I still think time together under a new coaching group, new combinations that they'll improve.

"We have to get better. We know that and we're making sure that our focus is on our own improvement and making sure we don't get complacent with our own levels," he said.

Source: @AllBlacks

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