Coetzee: Managing referee will be crucial

2017-11-07 14:27
Allister Coetzee (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee says managing New Zealand referee Ben O'Keeffe will be key in Saturday's clash against Ireland.

Coetzee's side are underdogs for the fixture after having lost all four of their matches on their 2016 end-of-year tour, and they are currently fifth in the world rankings with Ireland in fourth. 

While the Boks will still have the advantage of having a southern hemisphere referee for their tour opener on Saturday, Coetzee has highlighted the side's discipline all over the park as key to the cause. 

"The referee interpretation is going to be crucial for us," Coetzee said.

"In any Test you lose momentum when you give away simple penalties that give the opposition team an opportunity for a driving maul or to kick it out ... we’ve got to make sure that the discipline is right up there."

In terms of where the Boks had improved on last year's trip to the northern hemisphere, Coetzee was clear.

"Last year, this time I was personally worried about our conditioning," he said.

"I’ve got no fears at all this time. I think we understand that you can’t come here with a southern hemisphere mind-set and try and play in the northern hemisphere. We have to adapt.

"The physicality is a given, but we’ve got to be smart within our detail this week.

"They have good running lines and we’ll have to make sure that, defensively, we can stop them from all angles of the field."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 19:30 SA time.

Read more on:    springboks  |  allister coetzee  |  rugby

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