Strauss gets major praise from Coles
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss received a lot of love from his New Zealand counterpart, Dane Coles, ahead of their meeting at Kings Park on Saturday.
Strauss has endured a tough season as Springbok captain and he will be hanging up his international boots at the end of the year after only one year in the leadership role under head coach Allister Coetzee.
Strauss' leadership abilities have been called into question on numerous occasions this year. He was also criticised for some of his performances in the No.2 jersey as well.
However, Coles believes Strauss' man-of-the-match performance in the 18-10 over Australia is proof that the 30-year-old is still one of the best in the business.
"He is one of the world's best hookers and he was leading from the front," Coles told reporters at his team's base in Durban.
"I thought he played well and made some good runs. For a hooker to play 80 minutes at Test level is pretty massive.
"The best way for your team to improve is for your captain to go out and perform like that. I thought he was awesome."
The All Blacks are once again favourites to beat their old foes on Saturday, but Coles wants to hear nothing of that.
"I like playing the Boks. It is one of the best Test matches in the world to play in.
"There is definitely huge potential [in the Springbok team] and they showed that last weekend by beating the Aussies.
"All the Test matches that we have played here [South Africa] over the last four or five years have been some of the best Test matches ever played.
"I am really looking forward to playing in Durban. It is a pretty hostile crowd and a great stadium to play at as well," Coles added.
One area where the All Blacks will be looking to improve on ahead of the Kings Park clash is their discipline. The Rugby Championship winners had two players sent to the sin-bin in the second half during their 36-17 win over Argentina last weekend and Coles knows that they cannot afford to do the same against the Springboks.
"We had a chat about it [discipline] this morning [Tuesday]," said Coles. "It probably kept them [Argentina] in the game a bit and it was pretty tough to be accurate in that second half.
"We have to address that and make sure that we don't get into that situations and give away silly penalties and letting guys go into the bin, because it takes a lot out of your side and it can be very costly."
By Warren Fortune, in Durban
*Dane Coles photo supplied by: Steve Haag Sports