Smith returns to speed up All Blacks

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 12:52

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: All Blacks scrumhalf Aaron Smith will return to the side ahead of the contest with South Africa on Saturday.

Smith started the All Blacks first two Rugby Championship matches against Australia but was replaced by Thomas Perenara at scrumhalf for the 39-22 win over Argentina at the weekend.

While the All Blacks sit in front on the competition ladder, the Springboks who are are also unbeaten although held to a 23-23 draw by Australia in Perth poses  more of a threat to the side, who are learning to cope with different type of tactics opponents might throw at them.

After their recent hard-fought win over Argentina, Hansen has identified the breakdown and his side's line-speed as the troubled areas which need improvement.  

According to the mentor,  Aaron Smith's return to the side will make a huge difference and Smith's speed of delivery will benefit the side more when they meet South Africa.

"There's a difference between the speed of ball when Aaron is there," Hansen said on Sunday.

"He'll come back and that will make a difference to how we play," Hansen added.

Lock Sam Whitelock will also return to the side, while Joe Moody is set to be out for the remainder of the year after he suffered a dislocated shoulder.

When asked about Allister Coetzee's men, Hansen acknowledges the Springboks' unity makes them formidable opponents.

"South Africa are playing really well," Hansen said.

"They seem to be incredibly tight with each other, so they're obviously building something from a culture point of view and that'll make them more dangerous."

Source: @Allblacks

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 18 November 2017
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints 12h00 Sixways
Italy v Argentina 13h00 Florence
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Wales v Georgia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Australia 15h00 Twickenham
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons 15h30 Ricoh Arena
Ireland v Fiji 16h30 Aviva Stadium
Scotland v New Zealand 17h15 Edinburgh
France v South Africa 19h45 Paris
Sun, 19 November 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 14h00 Sandy Park
Leicester Tigers v Bath 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Fri, 24 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Ulster v Treviso 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Leinster v Dragons 18h35 RDS Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 18h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 18h45 Kingston Park
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Welford Road
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 17 November 2017
Gloucester v Saracens 23 | 17
Tue, 14 November 2017
France XV v New Zealand 23 | 28
Sat, 11 November 2017
France v New Zealand 18 | 38
Ireland v South Africa 38 | 3
Wales v Australia 21 | 29
England v Argentina 21 | 8
Scotland v Samoa 44 | 38
Italy v Fiji 19 | 10
Sat, 04 November 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 37 | 8
Connacht v Cheetahs 23 | 15
Edinburgh v Ospreys 37 | 10
Barbarians v New Zealand 22 | 31
Kings v Ulster 36 | 43
Japan v Australia 30 | 63
Fri, 03 November 2017
Scarlets v Treviso 20 | 8
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 6 6 0 0 28
Australia 6 2 2 2 15
South Africa 6 2 2 1 14
Argentina 6 0 0 6 0