• ‘All Blacks are superfit’

    Former Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer believes the All Blacks' superior defence, kicking and conditioning have been at the heart of their success.

    Since Steve Hansen took over as head coach in 2012, the All Blacks have won 57 Tests, lost three and drew twice.

    Meyer, speaking to City Press, credited the New Zealand Rugby Union's central contracting system for much of the national side's success. Meyer also lauded the team's solid defence, well-managed kicking game and superior conditioning. These have been problem areas for the Boks in recent times.

    'In the past, we always scored tries against them because they employed the drift defence. The biggest step-up they’ve made is in their defence, where they’ve got the aggressive press,' Meyer commented.

    'Their main strength is their kicking game because they are attacking kicks meant to put you under pressure. They kick on you until you kick badly, then they punish you. They kick the ball to get it back.

    'The difference is, with us maybe only one or two players can kick in the backline. All of theirs can, which is why they play two fullbacks in the back three. The way they kick is they move the ball along the backline until one of the defenders commits and the moment he does, they kick into that space.

    'They are by far the fittest team in the world. If you look at their tight five, they’re not as big, but they can do their basics and still put in 30 tackles because they are superfit,' he added.

    Photo: Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images

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    Mariette Adams