Boks prepared for Ryan factor says Davids
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The All Blacks are in South Africa for the first time in four years and they are under pressure.
The All Blacks are coming off a historic 1-2 series defeat to Ireland in July.
Their performances had loads of supporters wanting Ian Foster to get the boot, while captain Sam Cane was also not safe from the scrutiny.
In contrast, the Springboks are heading into the fixture in a much better position having secured a 2-1 Series win over Wales.
Nonetheless, Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids admits it will be a huge mistake to underestimate a wounded and desperate All Blacks team when they meet in their Rugby Championship opener in Nelspruit on Saturday.
“There’s never a Test where we underestimate the opposition,” Davids told reporters on Monday.
“It’s important that we be at our best for every Test and history will tell that Tests against New Zealand are always closely contested.
“We understand as a team, they are desperate to put in a good performance but we are also in the same positions to improve our game.
“Our preparation and attitude towards this game have not changed, it’s about us being the best we can be.”
Despite the recent Series win over Wales, the Springboks are not perfect Davids admitted.
He revealed there are a couple of things South Africa needed to work on ahead of the Rugby Championship opener in Nelspruit.
“We are very honest and realistic about how we want to improve,” David said.
“It’s a big challenge that lies ahead in the form of New Zealand and we need to be much better in terms of where we were against Wales.
“I think we want to improve in the execution of our set pieces, and we know that there are not many opportunities to score points at Test level, so we have to make sure we use our chances well.”
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The All Blacks made no secret of their intentions following the July Test series against Ireland.
The visitors have placed a huge target on the Boks’ set-pieces.
They appointed Jason Ryan as their new forwards’ coach in an effort to sharpen up their pack for the Boks.
Commenting on Ryan’s appointment, Davids said: “We have a lot of respect for the way New Zealand approach the set-pieces.
“Their new forward coach emphasises the fact that the [mauls and scrums] are an area they want to improve in.
“If you look at the work that he has done at Fiji and Crusaders, we know it is going to be a challenge.
“But we also need to make sure that we improve in those areas and we will prepare for that.”