VIDEO: Foster says 'smart' Boks make for special series
The critics may label the Springboks ‘boring’ and ‘one-dimensional’.
However, New Zealand coach Ian Foster believes they are ‘astute’ by playing to their strengths and not falling into the trap of following popular opinion and playing a style that does not suit them.
Foster was speaking ahead of the first of two Rugby Championship Tests between New Zealand and South Africa, in Nelspruit on Saturday.
The All Black mentor said the best part of the Bok game is how “clinical” they can be in executing the ‘simple things’ in the game.
“We all know about their driving game and their kicking game,” Foster said, adding: “They play a great pressure game.
“You have to be able to deal with that and if you don’t they will keep going back to it.”
He dismissed the suggestion that the Boks are a one-dimensional team.
“I call that smart,” he said of the Boks’ well-documented and much-maligned Bok game.
Foster said the All Blacks can create a good pressure game of their own.
“If we get the [quality and quantity of the] ball we want, we can create pressure on them in slightly different ways than they do.
“We want to play quickly, we want to play on top of them and they know that.
“It is a matter of who has the best execution of their own game.
“That is the great part of this two-Test series.”
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Foster described the new Rugby Championship format of back-to-back Tests as an “interesting” attempt to create mini-tours.
“Whether it is the right format, SANZAAR will have to look at that down the track,” the All Black coach told @rugby365com.
“To have two [Test matches] in a row here is something pretty special for this team.”
The All Black coach said his team is determined to prove they have the character to grow from the loss to Ireland in the July series.
He said they are clear about the challenge they will face on their two-Test trip to the Republic.
“It is going to be massive,” he said of the encounters in Nelspruit and Johannesburg.
“It is also going to be very special.
“There is no better place to be if you are an All Black team.
“You want to have that challenge very clear and obvious in your mind from the day you land here till kick-off.
“They’re a great team that puts you under a lot of pressure, they have some fantastic fans that really climb into you and make sure the atmosphere is exciting.
“You know from the start the expectations are high. You have to be at your best and if you are not at your best you lose.”