MTN8: Pick a winner!

No PSL this weekend, but Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates will do battle in the MTN8 final. Have your say on our Forum!

NZ braced for Bok onslaught

2012-09-14 08:57
Dunedin - The All Blacks expect to be targeted by an aerial bombardment on Saturday as South Africa search for a way to break the world champions' stranglehold on the Rugby Championship.

The Springboks' strategy appears anchored around flyhalf Morne Steyn and centre Francois Steyn kicking for territory and followed by any drop-goal opportunities and penalties on offer.

The All Blacks go into the match unbeaten after three rounds and on a 13-game winning streak, just five short of the world record of 18 straight wins by Lithuania - against the likes of Israel and Austria - from 2006 to 2010.

South Africa are second on the championship table but have only one win to their credit, and have drawn and lost their last two games.

While the visitors fancy reversing their fortunes with the boot, New Zealand will persist with their high-octane running game - although this has been compromised a little with scrumhalf Aaron Smith benched for breaking team protocols.

Piri Weepu steps into the number nine position and although he does not possess Smith's speed to the breakdown nor his rapid pass, after 62 Tests he does have a superior ability to read the game.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw has been unable to hide his frustration at the high error-count that has detracted from their wins against Australia and Argentina, and he wants an improvement against South Africa.

"What we've got to get right is being able to build pressure on the opposition rather than put it on ourselves," he said on Friday.

"They kick a bit but they're pretty good at chasing it and (if) you get the ball at the right end of the field and, if you make mistakes under pressure, they've got guys who will make you pay.

"We want to improve as a team every week and perhaps we've done that in stages, but we haven't put it together yet."

The All Blacks' patchy performances have not gone unnoticed by Springboks captain Jean de Villiers, who rated the hosts as "fantastic at times".

"I think about their last Test against Ireland (60-0) and 22-0 against Australia. That type of results is pretty special and they're probably not even firing on all cylinders, so it's a great challenge for us."

However, de Villiers, who played in the Springboks' first victory over the All Blacks in Dunedin when they won 30-28 at the now defunct "House of Pain" Carisbrook ground in 2008, said the result was not a foregone conclusion.

"We've obviously got a game plan that we believe in and we will probably stick to that," he said.

"But if it allows us to throw the ball around and we can see the space out wide we'll definitely try and take it into that space."

Although South Africa drew against Argentina and then lost to Australia in their last two matches, Morne Steyn maintained their tactics suited what they wanted to achieve.

"We as a team also work on things and try to move the ball as well but we're not just kicking the ball away, we are kicking for a reason. I think that's what people outside don't realise."

Teams:

New Zealand:
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock

Substitutes: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Charlie Faumuina, 18 Brodie Retallick, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Aaron Smith, 21 Beauden Barrett, 22 Tamati Ellison

South Africa:

15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Andries Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtwarira

Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Dean Greyling, 18-Andries Bekker, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Johan Goosen, 21 Juan de Jongh, 22 Pat Lambie

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
84 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures

27 September 2014
  • South Africa v Australia, Cape Town 17:05
28 September 2014
  • Argentina v New Zealand, La Plata 00:10
04 October 2014
  • South Africa v New Zealand, Johannesburg 17:05

Logs

Rank Team P W Pts

Results

13 September 2014
06 September 2014
23 August 2014
16 August 2014
28 June 2014
21 June 2014
14 June 2014
07 June 2014
23 November 2013
17 November 2013
09 November 2013
05 October 2013
28 September 2013
14 September 2013
07 September 2013
24 August 2013
17 August 2013
22 June 2013
15 June 2013
08 June 2013

Opinion Poll

After their narrow defeat to the All Blacks in Wellington, the Springboks will be relishing their "return" clash at Ellis Park. Or will they... ? Who do you see winning in Johannesburg?

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.