Rugby Championship

All Blacks just as dangerous without Smith

2016-10-07 06:45
TJ Perenara (Gallo Images)

Durban - Depth has been a common feature of this dominant All Blacks side for a long, long time now. 

For that reason, the loss of scrumhalf Aaron Smith will not be felt when the world champions take on the Springboks in a Rugby Championship clash at Kings Park this Saturday. 

Smith was dumped out of the All Black squad on Thursday after it was revealed that he had breached team standards at a Christchurch airport last month when he was seen entering a toilet with a woman. 

With Smith out, Hurricanes No 9 TJ Perenara starts. 

The All Blacks would not entertain any questions about Smith's absence on Thursday, but Bok coach Allister Coetzee was certain that it would in no way impact the New Zealand performance. 

"TJ has been in excellent form in Super Rugby. He’s really a good All Black and really good scrumhalf," Coetzee said after naming his team for the match.

"I don’t think it will be any difference, in my opinion.

"When it comes to speed of the game, the support lines that he (Perenara) runs are just as brilliant.

"He’s got pace and you saw that last week in Argentina with the brilliant try that he finished off. He’s a classy scrumhalf too."

Perenara has played 24 Tests for the All Blacks, but has started just 5 of them while Smith has 54 Test caps and just 2 as a substitute. 

Teams:

South Africa

15 Pat Lambie, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Willie le Roux

New Zealand

15 Ben Smith, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Liam Squire, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 George Moala

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