Tri-Nations

NZ target psychological edge

2011-08-14 21:43
Sam Whitelock (File)
Cape Town - The All Blacks have made it their aim to gain a psychological edge over the Springboks in their Tri-Nations Test in Port Elizabeth.

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They will tackle the Boks without stalwarts Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Brad Thorn, Owen Franks, Mils Muliaina, Sitiveni Sivivatu and Kieran Read.

A win over the Springboks with a weakened team would thus give them a big mental boost over their South African counterparts.

The two teams will in all likelihood meet in the semi-final of the Rugby World Cup - then with full strength line-ups.

"Of course it would help. If we win here (with a weakened side), we will be in a strong position," All Black lock Sam Whitelock told Die Burger newspaper upon the All Blacks' arrival in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

Some of the juniors in their group also view the Test as an important chance to impress before coach Graham Henry names his World Cup group on 23 August.

"I think this is a last chance," said backline player Cory Jane.

"There will be a couple of nervous blokes. We still have a task at hand this week and we can't worry too much if we're going to make the World Cup squad or not. It's on everyone's minds, but first there's a huge match this weekend."

Whitelock also feels the Boks will be a "dangerous" side after their home loss to the Wallabies on Saturday.

"They are playing in front of their own fans and want to rectify a few things," said Whitelock.

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