Boks must be clear in 'grey areas'

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 12:14

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Springboks have not beaten the All Blacks in New Zealand for eight years. They will need something special if they are to break that drought.

The last time the Boks beat the All Blacks in New Zealand was John Smith's Tri-Nations-winning team of 2009 - a 32-29 win at Rugby Park, in Hamilton, almost eight years to the day.

In fact South Africa's last win over New Zealand in any match was a 27-25 squeaker at Ellis Park, in Johannesburg, in 2014.

Bok coach Allister Coetzee believes his team can end their losing streak if they play their cards right.

Coetzee said there is currently a "better balance" in terms of how they want to play the game.

"There are areas where we can still be more accurate," the Bok coach said at the team's training base in Auckland - where they are building up for this coming Saturday's crucial Rugby Championship Round Four encounter with the All Blacks.

The disappointing 23-all draw with the Wallabies in Perth this past weekend means the Boks MUST win in Albany on Saturday if they are to retain their slim hopes of a first-ever Rugby Championship title.

The 2009 Tri-Nations title was before the arrival of Argentina made if a four-nations competition.

"If you are not accurate, then you will be punished,"Coetzee said, adding: "The patience of the All Blacks and they discipline is a massive challenge.

"We have to be really careful in the grey area of the game, whether to run or to kick.

"[We must] make sure we don't overplay, make sure we kick with purpose and not just giving them counter-attacking opportunities.

We have obviously worked on a few things and I am happy to see the players are making better decisions. You can only make decisions if you have the options.

"Your workrate creates those options and width.

"I am pleased with the progress we have made."

Coetzee admitted Saturday the Springboks face their toughest test of the year.

"New Zealand is the benchmark," Coetzee said.
"This contest is an exciting opportunity for our young team to measure ourselves against the best rugby team."

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