South Africa

Boks v All Blacks: Two ‘desperate’ teams to clash in Rugby Champs opener

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Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids believes that both the Springboks and All Blacks will be desperate to get their Rugby Championship campaigns off to a winning start in the first Test at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.

Football Highlights

The two teams head into the tournament off contrasting incoming tours, with the Boks having beaten Wales 2-1, while the All Blacks went down 2-1 to Ireland.

Despite that, Davids thinks that the home side are just as desperate to kick things off on a winning note.

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“We understand that as a team they are very desperate in terms of putting up a better performance (from the Ireland series), but we are also desperate to keep on improving our game,” explained Davids.

“So I think our attitude towards the way we prepare for New Zealand or any other team won’t change and it’s all about becoming the best we can be.

“For us it’s important to be at our best for every Test match. History will tell you that Tests between New Zealand and South Africa are often some of the most tightly contested games.”

Physical assault

The Boks are also preparing for an all-out physical assault from the visitors, particularly at the set pieces, where they will be eager to disrupt the home side’s biggest threats, namely their scrums, lineouts and mauls.

“We have a lot of respect in terms of how New Zealand approaches the set piece battle. I can understand that just like us, they always look to improve their scrums and mauls and in terms of stopping the opposition’s maul,” said Davids.

“We know that is going to be a highly contested and physical area coming up against New Zealand. Their new forwards coach (Jason Ryan) emphasised the fact that that is an area that they want to improve on.

“If you look at the work that he has put in with Fiji and the Crusaders over the past few years we know that it is going to be a challenge. But we also want to get better in that specific area so we will prepare for that.”