‘All Blacks understand lineout better’

Springbok lock Victor Matfield says Kieran Read is responsible for the All Blacks' improved lineout.

While this aspect of the game was once New Zealand's big weakness, which was exploited by the Boks, Matfield said it had become a strength.

'There was a time when their lineout didn't fire. I think their lineout is probably the best to go up against at the moment. I think they understand the lineout better. A guy like Kieran Read makes a huge difference. He's making the calls.

'They probably analyse it and see it as a facet on its own and have put time into it. I think they spend a lot more time on their lineout than what they did in earlier years.'

Matfield said a win against the All Blacks on Saturday would be important for the Boks ahead of next year's World Cup. South Africa have not beaten New Zealand since an 18-5 win in PE in 2011, while the All Blacks have lost just one match out of 34 since winning the 2011 World Cup, against England at Twickenham in 2012.

'They don't get beaten often,' said Matfield. 'They've got a great record, especially this team which has a very proud record and is a very good team.

'The more you can beat the All Blacks the better, because you might face them in a World Cup and we know they will go into the World Cup as favourites.

'There are a few of the guys who haven't beaten them, so it would be great if we can get in their heads that they are not invincible.'

Photo: Anne Laing/HSM Images

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