All Blacks want to ‘silence the crowd’
All Black flanker Sam Cane has said the World Champions will need to silence the massive crowd at Soccer City early if they are to complete a clean sweep of the Castle Rugby Championship with a victory against the Springboks on Saturday.
The All Blacks arrived in South Africa brimming with confidence after their 54-15 demolition of Los Pumas in La Plata this past weekend.
While the Argentinians tried to match the All Blacks with an expansive gameplan, they made several mistakes and were punished as the World Champions scored off almost every turnover.
With their early tries, the All Blacks managed to silence the passionate local crowd in Argentina, and Cane believes they will have to do that again to down the Boks on their home turf.
“I guess the big thing about playing them here is they will have 90 000 Africans behind them. The big thing is to start well and like we did on Saturday, take the crowd out early,” Cane said on arrival.
“They have struggled recently and it’s always tough. In the last couple of years it has always been a ding-dong battle, but no we won’t change anything. We will prepare the same the whole week and look at a quality performance throughout.
“It will be a first time for me at Soweto but it seems if they can get on a roll and get that noise and passion behind them, then they almost grow another arm and leg. It can be a lot more difficult then, but we will be looking to nullify them by starting well.”
The Boks will want to continue where they left off after demolishing Australia in Pretoria, a win which has set up a humdinger of a game this weekend against the old enemy. Still, the All Blacks are hoping the Boks try like the Argentinians to fight fire with fire and play an expansive game against them.
WIDE AND FAST GAME
Despite Heyneke Meyer warning after Saturday’s victory that the Boks will have to be more “tactically astute” against the All Blacks, Cane sees the Boks likely to run the ball more because of Johan Goosen’s influence on decision-making in the team.
“Typically over the last few years, the Springboks have tried to dominate us in the forward pack and put the ball in the air. They were playing the ball a lot in the air. But with the young first-five they have at the moment, I see more of an attacking game,” Cane explained.
“It will be interesting to see what they bring. We will be looking to play a wide and fast game. We will be focusing on that.”
Despite the Bok forwards coming into their own in the last few tests, Cane isn’t convinced his team were dominated in Dunedin. However, he did compliment the Boks at the breakdown and said it was one area the All Blacks needed to do better in.
“I don’t know if they got on top of us in Dunedin. I think it was more of a typical test match, with both teams going at it and struggling to get an edge over each other. It took until the last few minutes to see who was going to win there.
“The South Africans are big boys and they have a focus on getting gainline advantage, as we all do. Their cleanout is pretty exceptional and they put a lot of heat on us in Dunedin. We didn’t adjust well enough and we will be looking to rectify that.
“We have been improving every week, and we’re hoping to do that this week. We will have to be better in Soweto this week and we will be.”