Smith expects expansive Boks
July 14, 2010
All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith is expecting South Africa to throw caution to the wind this weekend as the sides clash in Wellington.
Smith watched from the sidelines last week as his side battered the Springboks 32-12 in Auckland and the former All Black fly-half believes that it is well within the abilities of the visitors to deviate from their kick-based strategy in the return fixture.
"We've seen in the Super 14 that they've got multi-skilled players and they can play a different type of game," Smith said. "You've got to suggest that maybe they can come and play that on Saturday. You've got to expect there will be some unpredictable events that take place and how you handle that is one of the big factors in the result.
"We've got to make sure we maintain our intensity up front from last week and that will be the key thing, that we keep the same physicality and win the battle up front."
Springboks wing Bryan Habana kept his cards close to his chest when asked about his team's style, insisting that there was no need to deviate from a gameplan that has seen South Africa dominate the rugby landscape in recent seasons.
"We've got a system that works for us, which has been very successful for us in the last 4-5 years," he said. "It's seen us win a World Cup, win a Tri-Nations and the Bulls have become very successful in the Super 14 with a similar system.
"The coach gives us licence within that system to express ourselves. There's not a boxed-in structure. We allowed the All Blacks to look good because they found errors in our defence. When you kick a ball and Mils Muliaina runs the ball 60m downfield because of incorrect system errors ... we like to find ourselves putting pressure on the All Blacks."
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor