Rugby Championship News

Matfield identifies Read as All Black dangerman





Veteran Springbok lock Victor Matfield has identified All Black backrower Kieran Read as a dangerman in their “do-or-die” Rugby Championship clash in Wellington on Saturday.

After losing to Australia last weekend South Africa will face an unbeaten New Zealand team on Saturday as they look win their first match on New Zealand soil since 2009.

South Africa need to beat New Zealand to stop the All Blacks running away with the Rugby Championship title for a third successive year.

One-hundred-and-fourteen Test cap Matfield says that they face, “the biggest challenge out there” this weekend.

“It’s a big game for us, a do-or-die game for us in this championship,” Matfield told AFP.

Thirty-seven-year-old Matfield came out of retirement earlier this year said that one of the reasons that he returned to the playing field was having the chance to face the All Blacks as well as having another shot at winning a Rugby World cup.

The All Blacks have brought in Steven Luatua for the injured Sam Whitelock Matfield says that All Blacks number eight Kieran Read will be a big threat for the Springboks.

“Kieran Read makes a huge difference,” said Matfield who added that Read’s development as an international player has has coincided with the improvement of the All Blacks’ line-out.

While the loss of Whitelock to injury will have some effect on the All Blacks Matfield said, “they’ve still got Kieran Read there,”

“If Kieran Read wasn’t there it might be a different fish but with him still there they will still be very strong.”

Having lost their last four Tests to New Zealand Matfield said beating the All Blacks a year away from the world cup would have enormous value for them.

“We want to win this game, we want to win the championship,” he said.

“The more you can beat the All Blacks the better because you might face them in a World Cup and we know they are going to the World Cup as favourites.

“There are a few (Springboks) who haven’t beaten them so it will be great if we can get in their heads that they’re not invincible.”

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