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VIDEO: Joe Schmidt's revenge mission against Boks

SPOTLIGHT: With last year’s World Cup Final defeat still fresh in his mind, Joe Schmidt will now be planning to knock South Africa off their perch in Australia.

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Schmidt was part of New Zealand’s coaching team when they suffered a heartbreaking 11-12 defeat to the Boks in Saint-Denis last October.

Earlier this year, the 58-year-old was unveiled as the Wallabies’ new head coach, taking over from Eddie Jones.

Schmidt has a long road ahead in trying to turn the Wallabies into a force again. He will ease into things with a two-Test series against Six Nations wooden spoonists Wales and a one-off match against Georgia in July.

However, things will get a whole lot harder in the opening two rounds of the Rugby Championship in August when they face the back-to-back World Cup champions in Brisbane and Perth.

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“It is a challenge. The last game they [Springboks] played, I was in the opposition coaching box,” Schmidt told reporters in Perth on Friday.

“We felt pretty disappointed at the end, not just with the result, but with some of the things that happened during the game.”

Schmidt added: “They are just so difficult to break down. They stay in the game really well.

“They are incredibly physical. They try to suffocate you and they got a really strong set-piece.

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“They’ve got some very big men, but they have some really gifted players as well.

“People think of South Africa as big and bludgeoning their way to victory, but guys like Cheslin Kolbe, and Kurt-Lee Arendse are real whippets with some of the skills they have.

“Even Damian de Allende has got some real talent around his kicking game and passing game, but he is pretty good at going forward as well.”

With plenty of South Africans calling Australia home these days, particularly in Perth, the Springboks will have no shortage of support when they head to Australia this year.

However, Schmidt is confident the Wallabies’ supporters will come out in numbers and he has even invited All Black supporters in Australia to get behind his team.

“I do think that they [New Zealanders] would support the local team and they will also have memories of the World Cup Final.

“They will be hoping that someone can knock off the Springboks and why not us?

“There is a big South African influence here in Perth as well, so there is no doubt that they will have a bit of support.

“However, I would like to think that we can drown that out a little bit with green being beaten by gold.”

@rugby365com

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