Rugby Championship

Hansen: Boks won't change

2013-10-03 19:30
Steve Hansen (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - All Blacks coach Steve Hansen believes the Springboks will not veer too far away from their style of play in their pursuit of a four-try bonus point at Ellis Park on Saturday.

"I don’t expect them to kick too many shots at goal from penalties," Hansen said on Thursday, ahead of the Rugby Championship decider between South Africa and New Zealand.

"They’ll kick for the corner and try and drive over and score some tries that way.

“They’ll try and play their way into the game like they always do and I'm sure they’ll be physical and look to use the ball a little bit more."

Hansen said while the Boks had shown greater intent to play an expansive game against the Wallabies, South Africa had adopted a more direct approach against the All Blacks.

"They used the ball a bit more against Australia than when they played us and they were more combative in Auckland.

"They kicked against us a bit more and they were happy to take us on upfront."

The Springboks had a daunting task ahead of them to claim the title as they would need to beat New Zealand and earn a bonus point, while preventing their opponents from picking up a bonus point of their own.

Hansen believed the Boks would not be throwing the ball around chasing the four tries, but they would rather try and grind their way over the whitewash.

"If you try and change your game too much just because you are searching for four tries, you will get yourself into trouble.

"The Boks are too smart for that and they will stick with their strengths and try and wear us down."

The Springboks last scored four tries against the All Blacks back in 2004 when they inflicted their second biggest winning margin over the New Zealanders with a 40-26 triumph at Ellis Park.

The visitors were looking forward to playing at Ellis Park, a ground which had proved to be intimidating for them in the past.

"This is one of the biggest occasions on the rugby calendar -- the All Blacks versus South Africa is what these guys do for a living.

"They want to play against the best, and they see the South Africans as the best side in this competition," Hansen said.

"We want to go out and play really well against them, then you have the added bonus of playing at Ellis Park which is great."


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