Cape Town - All Black coach Steve Hansen has admitted that he is puzzled by what Springbok counterpart Allister Coetzee is trying to do with his team.
The Lions were South Africa’s best performing team in Super Rugby this year, and with their fast, enterprising style reached the final of the tournament.
Coetzee has tried to implement the Lions’ style into the national team, combining it with the traditional, conservative Springbok game plan.
But it’s been a torrid start to the year for the new Springbok coach, who has seen his side win only three of six matches to date.
They face arguably their sternest test of the year on Saturday when tackling Hansen’s All Blacks in Christchurch.
“Maybe that's been part of their problem, so far," Hansen told the Stuff.co.nz website. “They are not sure how to play because most of their side is from the Lions. There's a certain style South Africa play and it's bruising, physical and reasonably direct.
“The Lions don't play like that. So when you come and you mould your team, sometimes it takes a little while to get them where they need to be because you are changing your style."
Saturday’s Test is scheduled for 09:35 (SA time).
15 Ben Smith 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes: 16 James Parsons, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Matt Todd, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown
15 Johan Goosen, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Elton Jantjies, 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 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Damian de Allende