Balanced Boks impress All Blacks
September 8, 2013
Willie le Roux found plenty of space in Brisbane © Getty Images
The Springboks believe they are still improving%]
The All Blacks must be more accurate in their execution against a Springboks side who have added an expansive edge to their traditional physical style, Steve Hansen says.
The dominant teams of The Rugby Championship meet at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday, with South Africa's second bonus point of the tournament, from their 38-12 four-try-to-nil thumping of Australia in Brisbane on Saturday night, giving them a one-point advantage atop the table.
Hansen was impressed by the Springboks' performance in their biggest victory over the Wallabies on Australian soil, describing them as "a pretty balanced side".
"I think they've been good all season," he said. "They're trying to play some rugby as well as keeping their physicality. They've sped up their game. They're using their backs a lot more."
Hansen said the Eden Park Test would represent a step up for both teams.
"Our execution has to be spot on, because it's the two best sides in the world playing," he said. "Whoever executes the best on the day will get the chocolates."
The All Blacks face South Africa after beating Argentina 28-13 in Hamilton, where a persistent drizzle produced plenty of errors.
Hansen said the All Blacks had to adapt better to the conditions, citing, as an example, their wet-weather performance to defeat France 30-0 in Christchurch in June.
"We like to run the ball, we like to play with the ball in hand, but when you get those weather conditions, we just have to be a bit smarter because it's all about risk and reward," he said. "I thought we were comfortably in control of the game right throughout. We probably allowed ourselves to be under too much pressure by trying to play too much rugby."
Kieran Read produced the individual moment of the weekend © Getty Images