Rugby Championship

Boks to learn from British Lions v All Blacks?

2017-09-11 20:13
Allister Coetzee (Gallo)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee was paying close attention when the British and Irish Lions came so close to beating the All Blacks in a three-match series in New Zealand this year. 

The series ended 1-1, with the third and final Test in Auckland ending in a 15-15 draw, and it was the Lions who would have emerged as the happier of the two camps after having been beaten 30-15 in the first Test. 

The Lions got better as the tour went on, and by the end they had elevated themselves to the All Blacks' level and given the best side in the world a serious run for their money. 

On Saturday, it will be the turn of Allister Coetzee and the Springboks to try and knock over the world champions in their own back yard. 

The Boks take on New Zealand in Albany in a match that will be crucial to their hopes of winning a first Rugby Championship title since 2009. 

Addressing media upon his side's arrival in Auckland on Monday, Coetzee said the performance of the Lions in that series had provided a couple of valuable lessons.

"They were defensively really strong," Coetzee said of Warren Gatland's side.

"If you look at how the All Blacks attack in terms of their ball carrier ... they really run hard at you and you've got to stop the momentum.

"This game is always going to be about momentum. If you don't stop it and win that gain line battle, they will punish you.

"If they have a 3 v 3, then you have to stop it, otherwise it becomes a 5 v 2.

"The British Lions were very good at shutting that down, but you have to scramble as well."

Coetzee said he was pleased with certain aspects of his side's performance in their 23-23 draw against Australia in Perth on Saturday, but he knows they will have to better if they are to cause an upset against the Kiwis.

"You've got to consistently keep the focus and concentration up against the ABs," he said. 

The Boks last beat the All Blacks in New Zealand in 2009, when they won 32-29 in Hamilton. 

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