Home RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP 2018 Preview – Springboks v All Blacks

Preview – Springboks v All Blacks

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New Zealand have always been one of the best touring teams in the Championship and have also been on the winning side in South Africa.

Last year was a close one at Newlands but in 2016 the All Blacks demolish the Springboks in Durban with 57-15.

That is a cruel reminder on how bad it can get when you get an All Blacks team that is firing 100% on the day.

If you think the All Blacks will underestimate the Springboks this weekend then you have a nasty surprise coming your way. Hansen and his troops would have learned a hell of a lot from the Wellington test.

They have some scores to settle with the Springboks and we can expect a All Black team that will be ruthless in their approach at Loftus.

At first glance this All Blacks side looks pretty good which is an actually a stupid comment because any team they put on the field looks impressive.

At the back the All Blacks always have game breakers. It will be interesting to see how the combination of Read, Cane and Frizell will go. It maybe show how Hansen wants to dominate the breakdown and speed to the ball.

The Springboks was also undone last week by Pocock and Hansen would have taken note.

The Springboks answer is Flo, Kolisi and PSDT which makes one feel that we missing again the mark.

The Springboks will want to bank on the confidence from the Wellington and PE test but they will have to do much more than just defend for 80 minutes on Saturday.

The Springboks will not be able to afford not taking their chances that come their way on Saturday and this have been a problem the whole year.

It is one thing to create opportunities if you can not convert it especially against the All Blacks.

Erasmus have change his midfield yet again from last week but De Allende and Kriel have played enough test together to be solid this weekend but they will have their hands full with Williams back in the All Blacks midfield.

The kicking game of the All Blacks may be decisive in my mind this weekend. The All Blacks have perfected the art of the kicking game and they will test Kolbe and Le Roux on the high ball.

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen is wary of the Boks, and expects another tough encounter.

They are a pretty confident side the Boks, they’ve grown another arm and a leg since they knocked us over in Wellington,” he said.

“Thought they played really well against Aussie, they will be looking forward to fronting up again on Saturday.”

Hansen believes Saturday’s Test will be a gruelling affair which will go down to the wire.

You’ve got two teams that are going to go at it, two big bulls in a bullpen – last man standing so to speak,” he added.

“That’s what Test rugby is all about and I think that is what the fans want to see too.

“They (fans) want to see real close games, whilst you reflect on the game back there where we lost. Which wasn’t great but I think everyone that watched the Test were excited about it.”

Springboks boss Rassie Erasmus said although his team has some momentum going into this Test, they will be looking to improve in all areas against a quality All Blacks team.

“They will test us in every department,” he said.

“The All Blacks usually hit back hard after a loss so we have to be mentally and physically ready for a massive contest. We will have to front up in defence and be clinical when we’re creating chances because the All Blacks punish you for errors and missed opportunities.

“The Springboks versus All Blacks at a packed Loftus, I think it’s going to be a special occasion.”

Prediction: We will always believe the Springboks will do it against the All Blacks at home but reality is that the All Blacks almost never make as much mistakes as they did in Wellington and for them to make it twice will almost be impossible. I hope i am wrong but I have to give it to the All Blacks by 10.

The teams:

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse

New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Ryan Crotty

Facts:

  • After winning the most recent fixture 36-34 in Wellington, South Africa will be gunning for back-to-back victories against New Zealand for the first time since they won three on the bounce in 2009.
  • New Zealand have won their last three games against the Springboks on South African soil; they have never won four straight games playing away to South Africa.
  • South Africa have a win rate of 77% at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, having lost just eight Test matches at the ground (W27) – however four of those losses have come against New Zealand, with their only victory against the All Blacks at this venue coming in 1970.
  • Since Argentina joined the competition in 2012 the All Blacks have never lost more than one match in a single edition of The Rugby Championship, winning 34 of 38 games in that period (D1, L3), the last time they suffered two defeats in the tournament was during the 2011 Tri Nations.
  • New Zealand have conceded a total of 60 points to South Africa in their two most recent encounters; in the four games prior to this, they conceded a combined total of just 46 points to the Springboks.
  • New Zealand have averaged the most metres gained (650) and defenders beaten (36) per match in The Rugby Championship 2018, while South Africa have recorded the lowest tallies in these categories (360 metres and 19 defenders beaten).
  • New Zealand and South Africa both successfully converted all their goal attempts last weekend (each kicking five from five), the first time either side had done so in this year’s tournament.
  • The All Blacks have conceded the most turnovers in The Rugby Championship this year (91), while South Africa have won the most (39).
  • New Zealand’s Rieko Ioane has scored 20 tries in just 19 Tests for the All Blacks, including four in three games against the Springboks.
  • South Africa’s Eben Etzebeth has won 26 lineouts in this tournament, the most of any player and 10 more than New Zealand’s best Kieran Read (16).

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Another fact you didn’t mention on your facts list. South Africa has conceded the least amount of points in the second half in this year’s RC

  2. That could become an important stat if we manage to go into halftime with the lead. I don’t know. I can’t see us winning, but then I also couldn’t see Wellington coming. Dream the impossible dream, Boks by 3

  3. Some interesting facts from the stats… is all the ball Kolisi has clearly been pilfering off his own backs. He features in all the top 10 ‘back’ stats as the only forward from any team! Could you imagine all that ball actually getting to the speedsters/outside backs where it was intended.

    The Bok’s LO play is ‘predictable’… all their ball seemingly goes to Etzebeth with him the only Bok forward in the LO stats with both the AB’s and Argies sharing their burden between 3 forwards in the top 10 each. No doubt from having Kolisi/Notshe/Louw in the same pack together in two’s most the comp.

  4. @bryce_in_oz: Bryce, according to Bunny you are just “not understanding the game plan”. It is clear that Kolisi is by design selected as our 3rd wing – and Stef should cover all 3 loosies at the breakdown.
    And yes, Marx cannot throw pass number 2 for shit (but it may also be linked to the lack of support the number 4 jumper gets from Kolisi – as he is out of breath running from the wing?).

  5. @Bekke: sarcasms does not suit you Bekke

    What I said is it is easy to creticise a player from the sideline. I actually do it as well but we need to understand that in the game today the player plays according to the plan from the coach

    If any to blame for Kolisi type of play it must be Rassie. He have always said he is happy with Kolisi so he must be the person that gives Kolisi this freedom to play this game

    If it was against the teams structure he would have been replaced

    Well that is my view of it

  6. @Jacques: Nah, if it was Stef standing with his hands on his knees on wing, then YES, he will be replaced. But never our beloved captain, or SloFlo (alias Rassie’s viagra).
    And I love sarcasm – especially since you guys understand it so well….

  7. @Jacques:

    In the modern game, it doesn’t really matter who plays to the ball on the ground, as long as you have players doing it.

    Kolisi does it periodically, but Marx is far better at it. Kolisi, much like Juan Smith is more of a tackler and a ball carrier, just not as good unfortunately, but I personally can see why he pops up all the time with the ball in hand. He also always gets over the gain line. With time, I suspect that the support runners will start running the types of lines that they can receive the pass out the tackle from Kolisi.

    Personally, I would have had Jaco Kriel in stead of Siya, as he is so much better at that type of hybrid flank role.

    With Vermeulen back, who gets turnovers on the deck, carries well and mungrel tackles, combined with Marx on the ground, Kolisi and PSdT will have an absolute field day.

    My biggest worry is what do we do if Faf dK gets injured, because apart from him, the mediocrity has been spread pretty thickly with 9’s in SA.

  8. We are going to miss the calming influence of Whitely and it is going to be a big one for me how the 2 sets of loosies go. Sam Cane is no David Pocock but watch out for when Ardie Savea comes on off the bench.

  9. Yeah good article. Agree with prediction. I think the Boks would beat the ABs at home, but it needs our very best team and squad selected. This is not it.

  10. Very much hoping I is wrong. Depends how Boks play. Opening quarter will be key. If Boks defensive and heads drop after NZ get a lead, I don’t think the Boks will come back in this one. Got to take it to them.

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