Africa-Press – South-Africa. In Mbombela
All Blacks coach Ian Foster was quick to dispel any notion that the Springboks are one-dimensional brutes ahead of their Rugby Championship encounter at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.
In the Wales series, the Boks used blunt force at any given moment to unsettle the visitors and to an extent, it worked in the first and the third Tests.
The Boks though were accused of being one-dimensional in their attacking approach, something that was visible in how they battled to convert chances in Wales’ 22.
The Welsh coaching staff made it clear during the series that they knew exactly what was coming, even though they didn’t always offer the requisite resistance.
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Foster, who gladly reciprocated the magnanimity forwarded to him by the Springboks even though he’s under intense pressure leading into the game, said the Boks are far more nuanced in attack than they generally let off.
“I don’t see two strategies. I see one strategy where they want to play you in a number of different ways,” Foster said.
“It’s not like they’ll play one strategy for the whole game. They’ll have two or three variations of how they’ll want to play.
“We know they’ll try to play us wide off certain types of set-ups, they’ll try to play us aerial and they’ll try to play through us.
“That’s what happens when you play great teams and the key is not to over-exaggerate one facet of the game because they’ll move to another one.
“That’s something we also need to get good at too where we nullify them in certain areas and be smart enough to switch our game.
“That comes with growing confidence and understanding our own game, which has been one of our main focuses this week.”
Without throwing shade at his opponents, Foster said the Boks will be the ones who will have to deal with more pressure leading into the game.
The Springboks are playing their first All Black Test at home since 2018 and they haven’t beaten the All Blacks in South Africa since 2014.
“You don’t get out and you’re not in the community all the time because of the Covid-19 times we live in,” Foster said.
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“We may be sheltered, but I’m pretty sure that when we go to the stadium, there won’t be 46 000 South Africans cheering for us.
“I’m assuming that with two home games, there will be pressure on them, but that’s how the draw is.
“When we play South Africa, I don’t care where the game is, we’ve got massive respect for each other and you have to be at your best to do well.”