Boks to fight fire with fire

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 15:15

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Springbok head coach Allister Coetzee believes it will be a mistake if his team adopts a conservative approach against the All Blacks at Newlands on Saturday.

After a disappointing 27-all draw with the Wallabies in Bloemfontein last weekend, few people will give Coetzee's side chance against a powerful New Zealand team, which secured this year's Rugby Championship in Buenos Aires.

However, the Boks did show a bit of improvement on attack against the Aussies, despite butchering a number of try-scoring opportunities. at Free State Stadium and Coetzee believes that if they can keep their hands on the ball and make good decisions they will have a chance against the All Blacks.

"I think the game has moved on, you know that you cannot just give the All Blacks ball on a platter," Coetzee told reporters in Cape Town on Monday.

"They are a good side, a quality side. There is not one way of beating the All Blacks. You've got to be unbelievably accurate. You got to make sure that it is just not one plan and we've got to make good decisions. 

"You won't beat them by just getting penalties, so you have to score tries in order to beat any New Zealand team and we saw that in Super Rugby as well. 

"The decision-making is the biggest thing and we've spoken about that and there's the ball in hand approach. This team has been together for a few months and you can see they are comfortable with ball in hand."

If the Boks are going to put up a challenge against the All Blacks, they will have to be more accurate in the set pieces, particularly at line-out time.

The Boks were awful in the line-outs when they lost 0-57 to the All Blacks in Albany and it is an area where Steve Hansen's side will look to target once again.

The visitors will be without star lock Brodie Retallick this week due to a family tragedy, but they have got enough depth in the second-row department to put the Boks under pressure in Cape Town. 

"Brodie is a world-class player, but there is [Scott] Barrett that is just as good," said Coetzee. "There is Barrett, there is Kieran Read and there is Samuel Whitelock.

"They come as a package together. They have been playing together for the Crusaders for a long time, so they absolutely know what they are doing. 

"[Patrick] Tuipulotu is also a fantastic lock forward. Luke Romano is fantastic, so they've got great depth and we don't expect that [line-outs] to be a lesser challenge. 

"It is going to be a massive challenge for us at line-out time, but we need to make sure we plan and get that right."

By Warren Fortune
@FortuneWarren
@rugby365com

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