Boks to face All Black blitz

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 14:51

CAPTAIN'S INTERVIEW: New Zealand captain Kieran Read has hammered home the message he does not want a repeat of last week's start against Argentina.

The All Blacks play the Springboks in Christchurch in a Round Four Rugby Championship encounter on Saturday.

The All Blacks are confident they can take the Boks and possibly wrap up the title if Australia beat Argentina in the other match.

However, Read said they do not want another slow start after slipping behind Argentina three times in the first 50 minutes of their last match before eventually taking command to pull off a convincing 57-22 victory.

He said they need a strong opening against a Springbok side looking to atone for consecutive losses against Argentina and Australia.

"We don't really want to be focusing too much on them but if we can get a start in terms of our physicality and a bit of intensity in our own play then the scoreboard does funny things to teams," Read said Friday as the All Blacks wrapped up training.

"If we can get a lead obviously that helps, but we know it will take a big effort against the Boks tomorrow [Saturday]."

The All Blacks are rated overwhelming favourites to extend their winning streak, which currently stands at 14, with the misfiring Springboks under attack for their woeful return of one win from three matches.

Former South Africa coach Nick Mallett has branded then a "B division" outfit, saying they were shown up last week by "a poor Australian side, lacking confidence".

But Read did not accept the criticism, believing the Springboks would find an extra gear to face the All Blacks.

"This Springboks team will be pretty eager to prove some people wrong," he said, adding the All Blacks remained confident.

"I don't think I've ever not had that feeling in an All Blacks jersey. We go out every game, some games are a lot harder and tougher than others, but you always have confidence in your own ability as a group.

"Tomorrow [Saturday] is no different, but in saying that it doesn't mean we don't respect what the opposition is going to throw at us."

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 March 2017
Crusaders v Force 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Waratahs 08h45 Melbourne
Glasgow Warriors v Connacht 17h15 Scotstoun Stadium
Scarlets v Edinburgh 19h05 Parc y Scarlets
Dragons v Ulster 19h35 Rodney Parade
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Sat, 25 March 2017
Blues v Bulls 06h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Highlanders 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Stormers 10h55 Singapore
Kings v Lions 13h05 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 14h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 15h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bath 15h00 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Leinster v Cardiff Blues 15h00 RDS Arena
Cheetahs v Blues 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Jaguares v Reds 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 26 March 2017
Wasps v Worcester Warriors 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Bristol v Gloucester 15h00 Ashton Gate
Mon, 27 March 2017
NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
Fort Hare v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Davidson Stadium
Wits v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Johannesburg
NMMU-Madibaz v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Bloemfontein
UWC v WSU 16h30 Cape Town
Maties v UJ 17h00 Stellenbosch
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 6 6 0 0 30
Australia 6 3 0 3 14
South Africa 6 2 0 4 10
Argentina 6 1 0 5 5