Div opens up on secret against All Blacks

Peter de Villiers (Gallo Images)
Peter de Villiers (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - When listening to Peter de Villiers speak about his career, it becomes immediately clear how much he values the mental side of coaching. 

READ: Only 1 Bok coach has a winning record against All Blacks in professional er

That, he says, was a major factor in his impressive record against the All Blacks. 

No Springbok coach since the dawn of professionalism in 1996 has beaten New Zealand more times.

De Villiers boasts 5 wins from 11 against the 'old foe', and he is also the last Bok coach to have tasted victory in New Zealand, with his Boks having won in Hamilton in 2009 and Dunedin in 2008. 

So much has changed since then, obviously, and the Boks have been in a steady state of decline since. 

Currently ranked No 7 in the world, there are few giving Rassie Erasmus' Boks any chance if a win against the All Blacks in Wellington on Saturday. 

In an exclusive interview with Sport24, De Villiers opened up on where he felt South African rugby was going wrong currently, while he also looked back on his own success against the All Blacks. 

De Villiers' critics often suggest that his early success was down to inheriting a World Cup-winning team from Jake White, but it was De Villiers who gave Test debuts to the likes of Morne Steyn and Tendai Mtawarira, with both playing in that 2009 win.

"We were very blessed during that time," De Villiers said when asked what his secret was against the All Blacks.

"There were a lot of things. The one thing was that we didn’t prepare for teams, we prepared for matches and we knew what we wanted to go and do.

"You need to upskill the player to make an input, and then they must take responsibility for their role and where they stand."

The mental component, De Villiers added, was as important as anything.

"I never coached rugby players ... I coached people who played rugby," he said.

"A guy like Heinrich Brussow we helped to be better than Richie McCaw and we helped a guy like Morne Steyn to better on the day than Dan Carter.

"It’s a combination of a few things you do on the day.

"It didn’t always work, but most of the times it did work."

The Boks were hammered 57-0 in Albany last year in a match that ultimately sealed the fate of then-coach Allister Coetzee. 

This will be Erasmus' first clash against New Zealand. 

Kick-off is at 09:35 (SA time). 


New Zealand

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 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 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu'inukuafe

Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Jack Goodhue, 23 Damian McKenzie

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Jesse Kriel 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Beast Mtawarira, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Cheslin Kolbe

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