Christchurch - Israel Dagg says South Africa's desperation
to prove a point will make them competitive when the two sides meet on
The Springboks are with their backs against the wall after
losing their last two Tests to Argentina and Australia respectively. This,
together with New Zealand's unstoppable form, has led many to believe the Boks
are in for a hiding to nothing when they face the All Blacks in Christchurch.
Dagg, however, believes the South Africans will be eager to
prove a point which will take them to a new level.
"No game is easy," Dagg told the New Zealand
"Obviously the scoreline blew out in the weekend but it
doesn't show how tough that game was. We were under the pump for the first 40
minutes. Argentina had us under a lot of pressure in that first half. Just
before half-time their prop nearly scored a try and that would have put us
under even more pressure.
"No matter the scoreline, we're always sore. If you
ever come to a review, which you probably won't, they're pretty honest. They'll
tell us what we need to work on and they won't say anything about what we've
done well. And that's good ... we want to be told how to get better."
Assistant coach Ian Foster called the clash a "massive Test".
"The players know inherently that this is a massive
test match and one we're looking forward to greatly because every year All
Blacks v Springboks is just about at the top of the list of the games we look
"I'm sure they'll be hurting after a couple of losses
and I'm sure that's all they need [as motivation]. I'm sure if we were in that
same situation we'd be hurting and I know how we'd try to respond. That's why
we're under no illusions about the scope of this week.
"We know how tough these games are and we know the
ability [they have]. They're certainly playing with a lot of intention, the
Springboks. They are moving the ball and we've seen them, if you give them any
space they can be very dangerous. We're expecting another one of our