All Blacks duo up for a set-piece battle
For the All Blacks, the 57-0 win in Albany is not much reference for this weekend's final Rugby Championship match against the Springboks.
Especially for hooker Dane Coles, who admits that his side need to nullify the Springboks’ robust scrum – a department they had troubles with in the opening minutes of the Albany test.
The 30-year-old remains adamant that it's a weapon the hosts will make use of again this Saturday.
Furthermore, with French referee Jérôme Garcès officiating the match it produces an extra focus on the technicality of the scrummaging.
"France referee interprets the scrums a little bit different but we just have to adjust – he is the boss.
“We as the players have to make sure we follow his style," Coles explained.
"[Springboks] have a pretty strong scrum and I’m pretty sure they are going target us again. We certainly have improved since Albany and I think we just have to adapt to how their scrum.
"We have put a solid plan in place, now it’s just about the getting the job done on Saturday,"
Meanwhile, Sam Whitelock is task with the tough assignment of leading the line-outs.
However, the lock will go into the Newlands' Test with the extra boost of confidence especially after his side manage to overturned the Boks' almost 90 percent line-out success rate in Albany.
Wary of revealing too much, the 28-year-old, who has become a dominant figure in All Blacks leadership group, credits good preparation to their success and said it’s a case of continuously evolving.
"I think there is a number of ways to win the ball in the line-out," Whitelock said, adding: "Every team has their own style and that is why you have to adjust the plan on weekly depending on the opposition.
"You can’t just stick with one thing, you have to keep evolving. Rugby is constantly evolving and you have to do the same, otherwise, you are going to be left behind.
"In terms of the Albany Test, I think we just prepared ourselves well. [This week] we had a good look at the [line-outs again and] try to work out if there is a better plan to get better results.
“That's not just with the line-outs, but right across the board – looking at all the set-pieces and all the phase play stuff.
"We are constantly looking and obviously they [the Boks] are doing the same and trying to work out how to play against us.
"That's the beauty of rugby – those little battles within the huge realm of things. That's something Dane [Coles] and I get to do most weeks,"
By Leezil Hendricks