Be wary Boks, says NZ coach
Ian Foster (Getty Images)
Johannesburg - All Black assistant coach Ian Foster cautioned the Springboks on the dangers of taking on the World Champions with an expansive game ahead of their Rugby Championship match on Saturday.
The Springboks played with greater confidence in their 31-8 victory over the Wallabies over the weekend.
“Our game’s reasonably obvious, we don’t change it too much, if teams want to stretch us that is their decision and if they do it well then we are under stress and we have to defend well,” Foster said here on Tuesday.
“If you play an expansive game it does come with a risk of errors and we’ve probably been through that process a little bit already and it doesn’t come naturally you’ve got to work hard at it.”
In their previous encounter in Dunedin it was a battle of attrition with neither of the teams giving an inch.
The Springboks’ defective goal-kicking, however, cost them dearly as they left 20 points on the field in the closely-matched clash.
Foster said South Africa’s performance against Australia in the penultimate round of the four-nation series suggested the Boks would play a more expansive game in Soweto on Saturday.
“They have a different kind of team and they certainly look like they had intentions to play with a bit of more width than they did against us in Dunedin and I guess we expect that to continue,” he said.
“It is still South Africa-All Blacks, they may chuck a few different things at us and they seem to have a lot of confidence in the way they played last week.
“For us it is business as normal on our game, we want to keep running our game to us it is about how well we play and that is really important to us.”
The New Zealanders also seemed to have hit their straps last weekend against Argentina in La Plata where they ran in seven tries to the two of Los Pumas to lift the inaugural Rugby Championship title.
While the Springboks finally displayed some attacking nous against the Wallabies, Foster believed the South Africans would still use aerial bombardment to unsettle his side.
“We are still expecting the odd high, we are still expecting a tough physical battle through their forwards, through drives so some things won’t change,” Foster said.
Foster said they have not made any special plans to unsettle South Africa’s 20-year-old flyhalf Johan Goosen.
“He is a fine goal-kicker… he distributes the ball well and I guess he’s quite happy to run if it is obvious for him to take it,” he said.
“He is a good all-round player, I guess he is still finding his feet at the international game and this Saturday is going to be pretty big for him.
“Hopefully if we can attack well we will expose him in one-on-one situations but nothing really that we will target him.”