Hansen: Springboks on the right track

Steve Hansen (Getty)
Steve Hansen (Getty)

Cape Town - All Black coach Steve Hansen believes the Springboks are on the right track under the leadership of Allister Coetzee.

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The sides have met three times since Coetzee became Bok coach in 2016, and in that time the All Blacks have scored 23 tries to just one from the Springboks. 

The lowest moment for the Boks under Coetzee came just three weeks ago, when his side was hammered 57-0 by the All Blacks in Albany for the worst result in the history of Springbok rugby.

There is little to suggest that the under-fire coach can orchestrate an upset win over the world champions in Cape Town this weekend, but Hansen still believes that Coetzee has the Boks moving in the right direction. 

In 2017, that 57-0 loss remains South Africa's only defeat of the year while they have emerged with two draws against Australia, three wins over France and two against Argentina. 

Hansen watched Saturday's 27-27 draw between the Boks and Wallabies in Bloemfontein, and he was impressed by what he saw from the Boks. 

"I thought they were pretty dangerous, actually, and if they had just been more accurate at times they would have scored some more points," Hansen said in Cape Town on Monday.

"If they continue to keep doing what they’re doing and keep growing that and get better at it, the type of game they’re going to play suits them quite a bit and it’ll make them a dangerous opposition."

Hansen also spoke about the thrashing in Albany, and he believes the scoreline on the night flattered the All Blacks somewhat.

"Their guys in North Harbour, whilst the score looked big, they knew they had been in a contest," he said.

"The fact that the score got away probably wasn’t a true reflection. We were pretty fortunate. Every opportunity we created, we took, and they didn’t."

The All Blacks have already been crowned Rugby Championship champions heading into Saturday's match, but Hansen says that doesn't make Saturday's clash against the Boks any less significant.

"You know the All Blacks and you know they’re under pressure all the time to win and win well, so it doesn’t change anything there," he said.

"The fact that we’ve won the Championship is obviously pleasing, but we’re playing against the old foe with a lot of history and we have a lot of respect for them."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.

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