A fired-up Ardie Savea says friendships will be put to the side when the All Blacks take on the Springboks in their final World Cup warm-up at Twickenham on Friday.
A packed Twickenham will host one of rugby’s deepest rivalries as New Zealand and South Africa conclude their preparation for the World Cup with a final friendly.
Savea told reporters as the team prepared in London that there was no such word as ‘warm-up’ for the All Blacks.
“It’s not part of our vocabulary at the moment. We want to go out there firing and banging,” said Savea
“For me, every Test is hard, and that’s just an internal gut feeling I put upon myself. The standard in every game is hard and tough and you want to get prepared for that and playing this game against South Africa leading up to what is next is important.”
The All Blacks claimed a 35-20 home win over the Boks in the Rugby Championship, a victory built on a sensational opening 20 minutes from the hosts.
Savea, however, expects a reaction from the South Africans and said the All Blacks have their own concerns after an indifferent performance in the second Bledisloe Cup Test against Australia.
“They’re big men and they’re physical. They’ll be looking at that last Test and that first 20 and will want to come out firing and nullify us,” the loose forward explained.
“The way we started against Aussie [in Dunedin], if we give that to South Africa it will be a long day at the office. They pose a massive threat around their physicality at the breakdown.”
With all the recent emphasis on red cards from tackle situations, Savea said the All Blacks were working their hardest to ensure they didn’t put themselves in the position of infringing.
“It’s not even in our thought process. We understand what’s going on with the cards and we try our best to practice good technique and make sure we don’t put ourselves in that position. But that’s footy – sometimes you get it wrong.”
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