ANDREW CORNAGA / PHOTOSPORT
Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo & # 39; unga will be key players in attempts to break Springboks' fast defense on Saturday.
OPINION : There has rarely been a stronger expected opening of the Rugby World Cup pool meeting than the 99th Test match between the All Blacks and Springboks at Yokohama National Stadium, with five World Cup titles between them two of the most successful teams in history will lock horns to win an early ascent into Pool B and outline an easier transition to the playoff scene.
A few years ago, with Albany dying in mind, you would have thought that this gadget would be just a formality for men in black.
However, slowly but surely, the Springboxes have reached the point where many people might almost be considered favorites in the eyes. From a South African point of view, this is not good, because the Springboks traditionally like to test themselves as minors and enjoy the accompanying fight when their back is up against the wall.
Ian Foster says that South Africa is the team that all Blacks do best in despite the brutal collisions in the field.
In the last four games between the two Southern Hemisphere headquarters, Springboks scored 106 points against 107 All Blacks, with two wins for the All Blacks, one win for the Springboks and a draw in their last meeting in Wellington, which served as a dress rehearsal for this competition.
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It can be objectively argued that this will be a close encounter and we need to analyze what factors will play a role in this game.
All the conversations coming out of Japan are about extremely hot conditions combined with challenging humidity. Having trained with the Sharks in Durban, I can tell you that humidity is an appropriate reality that professional trainers struggle with. Humidity is something you don't see on television. I know many of the games in Japan will be played at night, so you could argue that they are trying to deny it, but the fact is that the ball will still be incredibly slippery. There is no way a layman has looked at this and figured out how much of a problem humidity is and how much time coaches take (wet and slippery ball) to borrow.
Wet weather is also forecast, which is set to take advantage of the Springboks more than the All Blacks purely because they played a super conservative style with Rassie Erasmus. They drive forward and really bump wide when on. People will argue and say, "The wings of Springbok have made many attempts of late," but the reality is that their game plan was traditional, softening and then moving to the wings approach over Rassie's 18-month lease.
If you look at the amount of kicks that go in, it's obvious that the Springboks have decided to take the conservative path. In the warm-up game of South Africa against Japan, Willie Le Roux was very good in the air. The air battle will be widespread at the Fifth South Africa-New Zealand Summit. All blacks are also very good in the air and reporting the ball against them is a different proposition for Japan.
Credit must go to Race to hold on to his convictions and use a territory-oriented, forward-facing approach with an emphasis on defense, as this is his way of playing. Listening to what is happening in Japan; the aforementioned approach is a favorable style for playing in these conditions. There is a lot of talk about teams potentially proving better off the ball than with the team during this World Cup.
However, from the perspective of the All Blacks, Steve Hansen's men will still play their normal game because they boast a skill that is incredible.
The main point in this game will be the tactical battle of the South African Rapid Defense. The South African tide has actually had New Zealand's numbers for the last few games. The New Zealand attack was simply not as effective, but there would be some weaknesses in the Boxing invasion during the warm-up of Japan because all Blacks have very good coaches in their arsenal. Japan lacked the skill set to break Springbox's fast defenses, but all Blacks boasted a skill set.
Some naive commentators have said that it doesn't matter since Japan doesn't score, but when all the blacks create it
The good news is that from a South African point of view, they would look at these weaknesses and work relentlessly because they know that this is the weakness of the rush. When the tide narrows, it's in trouble. The two ways to beat the hurry is to hold the opponents up and bypass them, while the other way is to put the ball behind and isolate it.
Both New Zealand and South Africa know this, which is why you will need to be an interesting tactical battle in battle.
Additionally, when you add Jerome Garces' extra time and referee dynamics to the mix, you can understand how this test turns into an epic battle. If South Africa is worried about how the Frenchman will announce during the test, believe me, New Zealand is equally concerned because Garces is a loose cannon. He will make many mistakes, but hopefully someone will not determine the result and this will be a good race.
* South African Brendan Venter won the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and is a former Springboks assistant coach.