Springboks assistant coach Matt Proudfoot says the squad will not be reading too much into their victory over the All Blacks in Wellington last year ahead of their rematch on Saturday.
The Springboks claimed their first win over the All Blacks in New Zealand since 2009 in dramatic fashion in Wellington last year. Following their 35-17 win over the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship opener, the Boks are set for a rematch against the All Blacks at the same venue on Saturday.
Speaking to the media in New Zealand on Wednesday, Proudfoot says the win in 2018 won’t have any bearing on this weekend’s clash.
‘It was the first time in nine years we managed to beat New Zealand at home and first time ever at the Wespac Stadium in Wellington, so it was very significant. But we won’t pay too much credence to that.’
The All Blacks are coming off a narrow 20-16 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires, where the New Zealanders were able to expose new caps in wing Sevu Reece and replacement back Braydon Ennor to Test rugby.
Proudfoot warned that the win only further demonstrated the All Blacks’ depth, adding that he expects New Zealand to approach this weekend’s Test similar to how they did in their last-gasp win in Pretoria last year.
‘The Argentinians have been doing really well this season. To go there with a young side exposing their depth to it and coming away with a win against a very seasoned international team, I would be very happy,’ Proudfoot said. ‘That culture and mindset can be so quickly transferred into the All Blacks’ larger group. It bodes for the strength of their squad. They are a wise coaching team and the plan they will have will be similar to the one they had in Pretoria last year.
‘The Crusaders have won Super Rugby three times in a row and the basis of the All Blacks is the Crusaders team. You have to prepare yourself for that challenge. So, when you play the world’s best team in their own backyard, you need to respect that. Irrespective of what is at stake later in the year, you rock up here respecting that challenge.’
Bok coach Rassie Erasmus made the decision to split the 38-man squad between their opening two fixtures, with 14 players travelling to New Zealand before the Wallabies match. They were joined by the rest of the squad on Tuesday.
‘We are preparing for the World Cup and like any other team, we split our resources last week to try and handle the travelling constraints of this year’s Rugby Championship,’ Proudfoot said.
‘We are planning to expose some of those players, who haven’t been here, to what it takes to play the world’s best team in New Zealand, and to experience the detail and intensity that are needed for such a game. We are just going to continue to do that, build our squad processes for the World Cup due to the fact that our first game is against New Zealand. It is an ideal opportunity to continue the process which we started last week.’
Photo: Marty Melville/AFP Photo