Rugby Championship

Hansen expects 'more accurate' Springboks

2017-10-06 14:03
Steve Hansen (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - All Black coach Steve Hansen expects the Springboks to be "a lot more accurate" when the sides meet in Saturday's Rugby Championship clash in Cape Town.

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The last time the sides met - three weekends ago in Albany - the Boks were smashed 57-0 to secure the worst result in their history. 

It has left South African supporters with little reason to think they can cause an upset at Newlands in the final round of the tournament, but Hansen reckons the result from Albany will actually work in South Africa's favour.

"Their mindset will be as good as it will ever be, because they've come off that 57-0 scoreline and that would have hurt them," the Kiwi coach told media on Thursday, adding that the Albany massacre would not give the All Blacks any boost on Saturday.

"It doesn't give you any advantage because that game's over. It's about doing it every time, not just sometimes."

Most critics have referred to the Albany match as a freak result on a day where everything that could go right for the All Blacks did. 

Hansen also believes that the scoreline flattered his side, and he says that there was nothing wrong with the way the South Africans approached the match. 

"I think they'll be a lot more physical and a lot more accurate than what they were," he said.

"I think that was their issue ... not what they were trying to do, but how they executed it."

Another factor that Hansen suggested is working in the Springboks' favour is the travel. 

While the All Blacks have arrived from Argentina this week, the Boks have been at home for three weeks now and will be better acclimatised to conditions.

"They're coming off a travel regime that included Perth and New Zealand with two massive time changes, so they'll be comfortable coming from the highveld down to here," he said.

"We're really looking forward to the game and we know there's a big challenge. We've never been disappointed by the Boks at home. We know we're going to have to be at our very best."

The Championship is already decided, effectively making this match a dead rubber, but Hansen and his team pride themselves on always being up for a challenge, regardless of the circumstances.

"We've worked hard on getting our mental game right," he said.

"In any sport the mental side of your game is massive, particularly at the highest level when most people have got the same amount of talent."

The last time the All Blacks were in South Africa, they beat the Boks 57-15 in Durban.

Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.


South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6, Siya Kolisi, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende

New Zealand

15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Kane Hames

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 David Havili


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