Rugby Championship News

All Blacks will test Springboks conditioning





Springboks assistant coach Johann van Graan says that this week’s Rugby Championship Test against the All Blacks at Ellis Park gives them a chance to test their conditioning.

One year ago South Africa went into their final Rugby Championship match needing a bonus point victory over the All Blacks to win the tournament but were ultimately showed up in the fitness department.

The South African side managed to score four tries but they failed to contain the All Blacks who scored five tries on their way to a bonus point victory.

Assistant coach Johann van Graan said the team had taken the lesson from that Test to heart and placed greater focus on conditioning as they face the All Blacks once again at Ellis Park on Saturday.

“We knew after that game that we needed to up our conditioning, which is something we worked on very hard,” Van Graan said on Tuesday.

“You have to take all of your opportunities and we had a lot of linebreaks in last year’s Test match and we didn’t finish. Although we scored the four tries, we could have scored more.”

The Springboks demonstrated impressive fitness in Saturday’s 28-10 victory over the Wallabies where they prevented the tourists from scoring in the second half.

And while the Australian defence held strong for the first half-hour of the second half, the Boks’ conditioning carried them to pull off a three-try blitz in the final 10 minutes.

Van Graan attributed good decision making in Saturday’s victory which cemented their status as the second-best team in the world.

“You’ve got to play the conditions in front of you and take the opportunities that you get.

“I thought our decision making was good for most of the game. The first 20 minutes we played really well and we didn’t really execute in the middle and in the final 20 minutes I thought we played really well.”

He believed the clash against the world champions would require even greater effort.

“Every test is a new beginning and a rugby ball doesn’t have any memory. It is a new game, new players and a new referee.

“We want to be the best team in the world and to be the best you’ve got to beat the best and, so what an opportunity to play against New Zealand at Ellis Park on Saturday.”

While the Boks did not always get the reward for their tireless attacks on the Wallabies’ defensive line, they produced one of the better performances of the season.

However, Van Graan maintained that the Bok management would never be completely satisfied.

“We will never be happy with our performance. There will always be room for improvement, we can keep the ball better, we can execute better, and we can defend and attack better,” he said.

“You will never hear me say we are close to the perfect performance. I thought we played some really good rugby and brilliant rugby at stages especially the last 10 minutes.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.