Springbok assistant coach John McFarland has reaffirmed that South Africa would not alter their conservative game plan.
The Springboks’ kick-and-chase approach under Heyneke Meyer has yielded one loss, one defeat and one draw and has seen them stutter through the inaugural Rugby Championship.
With conditions a non-issue at the roofed Forsyth Barr Stadium, Saturday’s fourth round clash against New Zealand was considered an ideal opportunity for the Springboks to get their backline involved and create chances for their outside backs.
McFarland, however, said South Africa would stick to their traditional strengths.
“We will always try to get our speedsters into the game when the opportunity is there and we’re in the right position on the field,” McFarland said in a questions-and-answers session on the team’s official website.
“These days, wings must also go looking for work and run support lines on the inside as it’s getting more difficult to spread the ball wide as most teams drift very well on defence at this level.”
Defending their 10-man approach, McFarland noted, “If you watched at the weekend, our three best attacking chances came from contestable kicks which we won back and then basically you are playing 15 players on one.
“Having said that, up until now we have the highest percentage of kick regains in the Castle Rugby Championship and we have not kicked as much as the Wallabies or Pumas in our recent Tests. Even the All Blacks kicked more in Sydney than what we did in Perth.”
He said that much analysis goes into the formation of their strategy. “I’ve been to the USA before to visit NFL teams and learn from them. We analyse everything to the smallest detail and ensure we get the core messages across to the players.”
McFarland added that they are not concerned about the lack of experience in their pack and would look to dominate the All Blacks up front.
“Every game comes down to collision domination and it’s important that we have a mindset to be physical and aggressive. I believe it you’re good enough you’re old enough and we certainly have the players that can do the job for us this weekend.”