Rugby Championship

Coetzee: Bok defence key for All Blacks

2017-09-14 14:40
Eben Etzebeth (Gallo)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee was being very cautious on Thursday, refusing to make any statements about where he thought his side had the advantage ahead of Saturday's Rugby Championship clash against the All Blacks. 

The New Zealanders were a class outfit, Coetzee said, and the Boks would have to be accurate all over the park if they were to come away with their first win in New Zealand since 2009. 

Coetzee has seen a lot of good signs from his Bok team so far this year, with their effort on defence and at set piece standing out. 

On Saturday, the Boks will be without two of their biggest assets on defence with Coenie Oosthuizen and Jaco Kriel both out with injuries. 

Still, Coetzee is happy with the work his side has done off the ball so far in 2017.

"I think we've defended well as a team and I suppose players know their roles and responsibility," he said.

"It's been a massive improvement but we will be tested on Saturday, definitely. The challenge will be different defensively altogether from last week (against Australia).

"We were tested last week with a bit of creativity in terms of their running lines and I think this week will be a gain line battle altogether. It'll be about how quickly you can get off the line and adjust to make good decisions."

The gain line battle would also be intensified by the All Blacks' rush defence - an area where Coetzee is prepared. 

"We're not going to change our tactics ... we need to deal with the rush. The players have been exposed to it at Super Rugby level," he said.

"They are a class outfit. We all know it's going to be physical. It's going to be a contest all over ... set piece, breakdown, aerial bombardment.

"The big thing about the game is how you utilise and exploit the space and normally your scrum gives you a good platform to do that.

"We will have to be defensively very good."

Saturday's match kicks off at 09:35 (SA time). 

Teams:

New Zealand

15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Kane Hames

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown

South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende

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