Heinz Schenk
1 minute read
4 Oct 2013
6:10 am

Variation key to Bok victory

Heinz Schenk

Without explicitly doing so, All Black coach Steven Hansen yesterday laid down a bit of a marker for the Springboks in their quest to squeak past the world champions on the Rugby Championship log at Ellis Park tomorrow – they'll need to be varied.

Steve Hansen Assistant Coach during the New Zealand national rugby team training session and press conference at North Harbour Stadium on October 05, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo by Steve Haag / Gallo Images

“There’s a discernible difference to how the Boks have played against Australia and us,” he noted.

“In both games against Australia, they’ve used the ball more and in Auckland they were more combative. They’ve definitely seemed more competitive with ball in hand when facing the Aussies, against us they kicked more and are happy to take us on up front. I don’t think they’ll change too much, personally.”

That said, employing a more direct approach doesn’t necessarily translate into impotency on attack.

“There won’t be too many shots at goal. The Boks will probably kick for the corners and try to drive over and score some tries that way. They’ll play their way into the game, they’ll be physical and will look to use the ball a bit more I’m sure,” said Hansen.

Naturally, the impeccably rounded New Zealanders represent a massive obstacle overall but perhaps the biggest hurdle – especially when there’s the objective of having to cross the whitewash four times – is a psychological one.

The Springboks haven’t beaten the All Blacks under Heyneke Meyer and last scored four tries or more against them at self-same Ellis Park in 2004, a monumental 40-26 triumph when Marius Joubert bagged a hat-trick.

Delivering on both fronts will certainly require balance and composure.