Wellington - Flank Jerome Kaino said the All Blacks would
never take South Africa lightly and are expecting a tight Test match when the
traditional southern hemisphere heavyweights meet in the Rugby Championship
While the world champions go into Saturday's match in
Christchurch with three wins from three, South Africa are in disarray after
following their opening win over Argentina with a loss to the Pumas and then a
struggling Australia side.
Blindside Kaino, however, said Argentina had put enough
pressure on New Zealand in last weekend's Test in Hamilton to encourage any
side, let alone one of the pedigree of the Springboks.
"We know that every time the All Blacks play the
Springboks it's always been tight. They'll want to bounce back and they want to
get a win so we'll be preparing as we always do and we'll be expecting
something tight," he told reporters in Christchurch on Tuesday.
"We got that at the weekend and they'll have definitely
learned a lot from what happened in our game on Saturday so we're not going to
be complacent at all.
"Argentina put us under a lot of pressure and they'll
have put that under the microscope and they'll try and put that into practice
Although New Zealand ultimately ran out 57-22 winners last
weekend, the Pumas had them on the ropes for the first 50 minutes with a hugely
physical forward effort allied to some penetrating running out wide.
Kaino said the All Blacks had analysed where they had come
under pressure from Argentina and, among other things, were determined to offer
scrumhalf Aaron Smith quicker ball against the Springboks.
"That was one of the areas that we focused on, our physicality
in our tackle but also our clean out," he said.
"We pride ourselves on quick ball and for Aaron to have
an easy night and in that first half we didn't do that.
"As a pack, we took that personally and that's one
massive area we want to improve on this week."