Rugby World Cup: Stunned Springboks still talking up All Blacks


A shell-shocked Springboks camp expect the All Blacks to evolve their Rugby World Cup game rapidly now that the key Pool B match is out of the way.

South Africa are still digesting the costs of New Zealand’s impressive 23-13 win in Yokohama on Saturday night.

All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara consoles Springboks prop Tendai Mtawarira after their World Cup opener.

AP

All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara consoles Springboks prop Tendai Mtawarira after their World Cup opener.

“It almost seems like the World Cup is over,” Springboks assistant coach Matthew Proudfoot told media as his squad started to look at their next match against Namibia this weekend.

“It was a tough game. At one stage it was 17-13, two teams slogging it out against each other. The guys are more than physically hurt – it’s like we had our opportunity in that game.

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“That’s what is getting us. Yes, they were good. We left a few opportunities out there. We respect them for their performance, but we know that this team has it in it to go all the way.”

​Proudfoot expected the All Blacks’ game to expand now with Canada, Namibia and Italy left to play ahead of the quarter-finals.

The All Blacks look certain to top Pool B and will likely meet Scotland in the knockout stage.

South Africa's Damian de Allende is gutted at the final whistle after losing 17-13 to New Zealand in Yokohama.

AP

South Africa’s Damian de Allende is gutted at the final whistle after losing 17-13 to New Zealand in Yokohama.

“They are going to continue evolving. They are too good an outfit not to,” Proudfoot predicted.

“They really looked to put us under pressure with their territory, and that is not something we have seen since probably the 2015 semifinal. The way they kicked those bombs … they will have a repertoire that they will cycle through in their style.

“They will probably loosen up a bit now and show us more about their attacking side. They will balance that between what we saw on Saturday – a territory-based game, looking for counter-attacks. They probably figured that as a way to get away from our defence.

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All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick says he is “progressing really well” as he recovers from a shoulder injury.

“They will probably show a lot more set-phase attack now, and probably look for balance later in the competition.”

Proudfoot praised the All Blacks’ scrum and work in the loose by the New Zealand forwards.

“They’re a clever side. I thought they brought something different to the game, than what they did in the past. Especially on our ball, they were quite smart,” he said of the scrum battle.

“Up front, we weren’t happy with our maul process. That’s something we really want to address. They were smart in the way we expected them to go, to put pressure up in the air, which they didn’t.

“They put a lot of pressure on us on the ground, so we took that on board and will be better for that the next time.

“They have two good exponents of breakdown on the field, with Ardie Savea and Sam Cane. But it’s not just two guys that do it – both hookers do it, Kieran Read does it. Across the board, they put pressure post-tackle on the breakdown.

“The tries came from broken field – ours we worked a bit, theirs was two mistakes. There wasn’t much for the two attacks to get fluidity from. The two teams went at each other.

“For a purist watching the game, it was spectacular to watch two sides hammering each other at a defensive breakdown. There are things we can do better.”

 

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Source link : https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/rugby-world-cup/rwc-2019-japan/116033534/rugby-world-cup-stunned-boks-still-talking-up-all-blacks

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Publish date : 2019-09-23 19:39:00

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