Retallick explains how All Blacks will beat Boks
SPOTLIGHT: All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick said his team would concentrate on producing their trademark free-flowing game rather than playing the game at South Africa’s pace.
New Zealand are eager to claim bragging rights over the world champion Springboks but expect a much-improved South Africa performance in Townsville.
The teams have contrasting fortunes heading into Saturday’s Rugby Championship match, with the All Blacks undefeated in this year’s tournament and regaining the world number one ranking, while the Boks have lost twice to Australia.
“It’s two completely different styles,” said Retallick.
“From our point of view, it’s what we do with the ball. We don’t want to get caught up in going set-piece to set-piece.
“With the freedom the boys are playing with, using the ball and creating opportunities, there’s no doubt about how we want to play our game.”
Retallick said dealing with South Africa’s rush defence would be crucial.
“Where they’ve caught us out the last couple of times was their line speed defensively,” he said.
“They’ve outmuscled us, we haven’t been able to break them down through our attack and they’ve punished us.
“So you’ve always got the set-piece battle but dealing with that line speed and being able to hurt them is going to be massive.”
‘They’ll rise to the occasion’
The match will also be the first time in a decade the All Blacks have faced a reigning world champion, which flyhalf Beauden Barrett admitted added spice to the occasion.
“It’s been a while since we played the Boks and the first time for me personally and any of the team playing against the world champs,” Barrett told reporters.
“It’s a rivalry that has a long tradition and lots of very memorable games, there’s a proud history and I can’t wait to hopefully play the 100th on the weekend.”
Barrett did not believe the South Africans’ recent disappointments would have any bearing on Saturday’s match.
“We’re playing the world champions – we know they’ll rise to the occasion and be a lot better than they’ve been in recent weeks,” Barrett said.