Rugby 23.7.2015 02:40 pm

It doesn’t feel like a home game for Boks

FILE PICTURE: Heyneke Meyer, Craig Roberts and Pieter de Villiers during the South African National rugby team training session at Mbombela Stadium on June 18, 2014 in Nelspruit, South Africa. (Photo by Manus van Dyk/Gallo Images)

FILE PICTURE: Heyneke Meyer, Craig Roberts and Pieter de Villiers during the South African National rugby team training session at Mbombela Stadium on June 18, 2014 in Nelspruit, South Africa. (Photo by Manus van Dyk/Gallo Images)

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said because of the travelling it doesn’t feel like a ‘home game’ for him playing the All Blacks at Ellis Park on Saturday.

It’s for that reason why he virtually named a new bench, said Meyer. “Most of these guys have been told beforehand who will play this weekend, Warren Whiteley probably would have started in Argentina or rather Australia, I just felt if you look at the bench now all these guys are fresh, the only guy who has played is Adriaan Strauss.

“But the option was always, even though it’s a home game it doesn’t feel like a home game, because we played in Australia last week and was on the same flight back as the All Blacks, and they played last Friday and we both flew around the world.

“So I felt we wanted a fresh bench which could be the difference between losing and winning in the end, it’s not a set thing as there’s going to be a lot of changes going forward and I think it’s probably the same with the All Blacks as they have to use these five games to get going.”

Meyer also said on a transformation question he just wants what’s best for the Boks and SA. “I have been criticized on every single level, playing too much old players, using too much young players, the only thing I want to do is to pick the best side for SA, the players know where they stand, and we have to go out there and win against the All Blacks.

“Against the All Blacks it’s always important to have a very good start, last year we probably had one of the best starts ever, they came back as they always do, right at the end because their fitness levels are probably superieur.

“It’s one aspect I’m not happy with, but we don’t have a lot of time before the World Cup, so that’s why the plan is always to rotate and even the guys who stayed behind when we went to Australia did a lot of fitness.” Meyer added that there’s a contingency plan with players on the injured list too.

“And it’s the same with the guys I left out for this week, there’s a plan to get our fitness levels up, always important to start well against them, but I always believe the first 15-20 minutes will be very physical, but all the games have been very tough battles,

“The All Blacks put you away in the last 10 minutes and if you don’t start well then you have to finish well and that’s why I decided on this bench, the guys who would be coming on don’t have a lot of experience, but the last 30 against the All Blacks is where it’s won and I think it will be the same this weekend.

“We expect an open, running game and hopefully the weather will play its part, but they play with a very high tempo, if you look at Super Rugby it was one of the reasons why they were successful, and that’s one thing we are not good at the moment.

“But we are getting there but then we need to improve our fitness levels, so the last 10 will be vital although I also believe discipline will be vital.”

 

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