The world champions, despite having clinched yet another Rugby Championship title, are still smarting from the 36-34 defeat at the Westpac Stadium. The All Blacks may have been complacent when they faced the Springboks in Wellington, but that won’t be the case at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Scrumhalf TJ Perenara said this week that his team want to “right a wrong” in Pretoria, and coach Steve Hansen picked a side geared to run the Boks off their feet. So, what do the Boks have to do to win their third game in a row?
1 Take the game to the All Blacks from the start
The Boks cannot allow the Kiwis to build up an early lead. They shouldn’t just absorb the All Black onslaught in the opening 20 minutes, but actually put the visitors under pressure.
Dealing with the effects of the altitude burn after the first quarter will be much tougher if they are behind on the scoreboard.
2 Don’t miss any goal-kicks
This was one of the major differences in Wellington – Beauden Barrett was off-target, and Handré Pollard slotted his goals.
Pollard is on his home ground this time, but that’s not a guarantee of success, as Barrett was also in familiar surroundings at the Westpac Stadium.
3 Set up more driving mauls
The few times the Boks have gone on the drive from lineouts, they have scored tries and won penalties.
In Wellington, it was the All Blacks who actually dotted down twice from mauls, so the Boks need to do better in defending those too.
4 Hunt down Shannon Frizell
The Tongan-born blindside flank is 1.95m and weighs 108kg, but can move quickly across the ground for a big man.
But this is his first Test against the Boks, and it’s at altitude. So a few hard tackles early on from the likes of Siya Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit should put him in his place.
5 Get the ball into Aphiwe Dyantyi’s hands!
Dyantyi has been sensational in his debut Test season, but now comes up against a powerhouse in Waisake Naholo, who will be hard to stop with ball-in-hand.
Perhaps Dyantyi or Willie le Roux can put in a few chips over the top to turn the big man and make him fully aware of the Bok left wing’s pace?
But whatever the Boks do, just give Dyantyi the ball in space…
Source: IOL News