ALBANY, NEW ZEALAND, Springbok coach Allister Coetzee believes his team's defensive structures will be up to the task for the Rugby Championship test match against New Zealand here Saturday after he made three changes to the South African starting line, two of them forced by injury.
Flanker Jaco Kriel is out with a shoulder injury and is replaced by Jean Luc Du Preez while tighthead prop Coenie Oosthuizen broke his arm and Ruan Dreyer takes his place. Franco Mostert returns to lock in place of Peter Steph Du Toit, with Du Toit moving to the bench.
The Springboks will have to be up to the task defensively on Saturday, because the All Blacks are a dangerous bunch on attack and counter-attack.
Coetzee says the upcoming match will be about who wins the battles during the match. "Each player knows his role in the defensive structures of the team and it worked well against Australia. The All Blacks will be a totally different defensive challenge and this week will be a gain line battle, it's going to be how quickly you get of the line and win that battle.
Coetzee says his team can't afford to take their eye off the ball for a split second as it will be more costly than against any other team.
There can be no lapse in concentration. The All Blacks are especially dangerous in the last five minutes of the first half and the first five minutes of the second half. That's why we also need a strong bench and the whole squad (of) 23 players must be fully fit to be able to compete for 80 minutes or even more if needed.
Meanwhile, the All Blacks have made seven changes to their starting fifteen after giving some players a rest for the match against Argentina.
Notable returnees are loose forwards Liam Squire and Sam Cane while the centre combination of Sonny Bill Williams and Ryan Crotty are also back in place.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK