Cape Town - All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster has taken note of the Springboks’ intention to adopt a ball in hand approach in 2017.
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Foster addressed reporters at the All Blacks' hotel in Newlands on Tuesday as they prepared for a Rugby Championship Test against the Springboks.
Springbok coach Allister Coetzee on Monday said adopting a ball in hand approach has become part of his team’s DNA and they intended to keep at it this weekend.
When probed whether he felt the Springboks’ approach was different than last year, Foster responded: “Yes, I think they are and I think they had us under a lot of pressure, they had a lot of possession the last time we played in that first 40 in particularly.”
Foster was referring to the Test in Albany last month which the All Blacks won 57-0.
In that game the Springboks bossed the early possession and territory stakes, but were unable to enforce their game plan on the All Blacks.
“They certainly have the desire to play. We’ve seen that in the Australian and Argentinian Tests they played,” Foster continued.
Foster, who coached the Chiefs before becoming All Blacks assistant in 2012, did however warn that it may take some time before the Springboks started reaping rewards with their new game style.
“They’ve got a plan about how they want to go about things. And when you want to play a little bit more, it comes with its risks, but it also comes with rewards. And we’ve got to make sure they don’t get any rewards on Saturday. But when you want to change the way you play, it does take a little time to get that right.”
After South Africa's strategy backfired in Albany, there were calls for the Springboks to revert to a more conservative approach against their old foes at Newlands on Saturday.
However, the Springbok mentor disagreed.
“I don’t necessarily think so. I think this game has moved on. You cannot just give the All Blacks ball on a platter. They’re a quality side. There’s not one way of beating the All Blacks. You’ve got to be unbelievably accurate, you’ve got to make sure that there’s not just one plan. We’ve got to make good decisions. You won’t beat them by just getting penalties, you have to score tries to beat any New Zealand team. We saw that in Super Rugby as well, so the decision making is the biggest thing," Coetzee said on Monday.
Both sides will name their respective line-ups on Thursday.