Rugby Championship

No issue with ref - Heyneke

2013-09-12 11:02
Romain Poite (Getty Images)
Auckland - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has played down concerns about French referee Romain Poite ahead of Saturday’s Rugby Championship showdown with the world champion All Blacks here at Eden Park.

According to the supersport.com website, Meyer called it a “blessing in disguise” when referring to the way Poite refereed the breakdowns in the Boks’ win over Scotland in Nelspruit earlier this season, saying it ensured they had to alter the way they play and learnt some valuable lessons on the day.

Poite allowed the Scottish forwards to take up the space behind the ruck, and often take out South African defenders illegally without penalising the Scots, and as a result the Boks struggled to impose their dominance until the hour mark in the game before winning 30-17.

Now as they prepare to meet Poite again in a game that has higher stakes than any other time under Meyer’s leadership, the Bok coach believes that the breakdown has improved significantly since then and the Boks are ready to adapt if necessary.

“It was a good learning curve for us,” Meyer explained.

“We’ve worked hard on the breakdown and it was one area that I’ve targeted since the beginning of the year where I’ve felt South Africa has really been left behind. Last Saturday, against good openside flankers, we have made huge improvements in that time.

“So it probably was a blessing in disguise.”

The Bok coach was under no illusion about how big the task is this weekend at Eden Park, where the All Blacks haven’t lost since 1994.

“Saturday we face a different animal so we will have to be at our best. Saturday we face not just the best loose trio but a lot of other guys that are good at the breakdown as well.

“The All Blacks tend to force you into the wide channel and then target you with the counter ruck. They are also good at the counter ruck with box kicks so we have to be very clinical at the breakdown.

“I’m really happy with the work we’ve done at the breakdown so I don’t foresee any problems there with the referee.”

Another way of looking at it is that the Boks can’t control the referee performance, but have to adapt. To focus energy on it would be a waste, so they are confident they will be able to handle anything that comes their way.

Kick-off is at 09:35 (SA time) on Saturday.

Teams:

New Zealand:

15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tony Woodcock

Substitutes: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Charles Piutau

South Africa:

15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss , 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Juandré Kruger, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

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
8 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 18 August 2018
South Africa v Argentina, Durban 00:00
Saturday, 25 August 2018
Argentina v South Africa, TBA 00:00
Saturday, 08 September 2018
Australia v South Africa, Brisbane 00:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

The Springboks' 25-24 defeat to the All Blacks at Newlands was ...

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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