Cape Town - All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster says Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test against the Springboks remains a stern test.
The world champion All Blacks have steamrolled all before them in 2016, beating Wales 3-0 in a home series, before starting their Rugby Championship campaign with comprehensive wins over the Wallabies (42-8 and 29-9) and then a 57-22 drubbing of Argentina this past weekend.
For the Springboks, however, it’s been a torrid start under new coach Allister Coetzee, whose side suffered their third loss in six matches when they went down 23-17 to the Wallabies in Brisbane last Saturday.
It followed a 26-24 reverse to Argentina in Salta last month, while the Boks' 30-23 opening Rugby Championship win over Los Pumas in Nelspruit was also less than spectacular.
Earlier in the season, the Boks scraped home 2-1 in a three-Test series against an injury-depleted Ireland.
The All Blacks are expected to ease past the Boks in Christchurch on Saturday, but Foster has warned against complacency.
“For us it’s still All Blacks versus South Africa, and we know how tough these games are,” he said via a video clip posted on the All Blacks’ Facebook page.
“We know their ability; they’re certainly playing with a lot of intent... they are moving the ball. We’ve seen that if you give them any space, they can be very dangerous... so we’re expecting another one of our traditional battles.”
Foster feels Coetzee and his coaching staff should be given time in their new roles.
“As this year rolls on, opposition (teams) are going to know more about us. And while the Springboks have had a couple of losses, I still think that with time together under a new coaching group, new group and new combinations, they’ll improve... so we have to get better and we know that. We are making sure that our own focus is on our own improvement, making sure we don’t get complacent with our own levels.”