Chink in All Blacks’ armour

2016-10-07 10:44
Springbok coach Allister Coetzee speaks to the media during the squad announcement ahead of Saturday’s Test on Thursday.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee speaks to the media during the squad announcement ahead of Saturday’s Test on Thursday. (Gallo Images)

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Boks likely to use similar 'gritty' approach against All Blacks - S24

2016-10-03 15:44

Sport24 weigh in on the Springboks' 18-10 win over the Wallabies at Loftus and look ahead to the Boks' final Rugby championship clash, against the All Blacks at King's Park. Watch. WATCH

The Springboks’ chances of beating the All Blacks in Durban on  took a major jump after it was announced that Aaron Smith, thought of as the best rugby player in the world today, will miss the clash.

The Highlanders number nine was suspended after being caught doing the deed at the Christchurch Airport.

For the Springboks, coach Allister Coetzee went back to Faf de Klerk in the number nine jersey, and also recalled Damian de Allende, with both changes being made due to the injuries to Rudy Paige and Maritzburg College Old Boy Jesse Kriel.

With De Allende starting at 12, it will allow Stormers and Western Province team-mate Juan de Jongh to move to his more accustomed position of outside centre, it was announced yesterday.

The other change at the back sees veteran Bryan Habana move to his natural left wing position, with Francois Hougaard shifting to the right. “Unfortunately for Rudy, he will not have completed his gradual return to play … by this week, which gives Faf another opportunity in the number nine jersey,” Coetzee said on Thursday. “Damian should slot in well next to Juan de Jongh in the midfield as they play together for their Super Rugby franchise,” he added.

The Bok coach praised the bench, which he believed had a big impact last week, saying: “I expect them to do a similar job this coming weekend. Furthermore, our set-pieces have functioned very well and I am hoping for the same against a very good defensive lineout and scrum for the All Blacks,” he continued.

“The All Blacks will be a huge test. They are the number one side in the world and they have great form at the moment. We are playing at home and the boys are looking forward to the encounter.

“It’s important for us to end the campaign with a good performance against a very good All Blacks side. What I would like to see is that we keep on improving as a team and build on our continuity, converting more of our opportunities into points,” he said.

The World Champions have looked unbeatable so far this year, but the big news that they will be without scrumhalf Smith means they will be without the dynamism brought by the Hurricanes’ half back pair, which also includes Bauden Barrett.

And while Perenara put in a top performance against Argentina last weekend, the Boks should have an upper hand in the scrumhalf battle, especially with De Klerk returning to the side, having sat out the game in Pretoria last week.

Team: 15 Pat Lambie, 14 Francois Hougaard,

13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 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

Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Willie le Roux

Read more on:    rugby  |  sports  |  pietermaritzburg  |  springboks

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