October 1, 2017 / 7:12 AM / 6 months ago

Rugby-Springboks promise to be ready for All Blacks

BLOEMFONTEIN, Oct 1 (Reuters) - South Africa have been given little chance of exacting revenge on New Zealand in their Rugby Championship finale by Springboks coach Allister Coetzee, who says anyone expecting a rousing home win is “living in a fool’s paradise”.

He did, however, vow that the Springboks would be better prepared for next weekend’s clash against the world champions after their 57-0 drubbing in Auckland last month, despite the disappointment of failing to beat Australia on Saturday.

The two sides drew 27-27 for a second stalemate between them in this year’s southern hemisphere championship to hand New Zealand the title for a fifth time in six years.

South Africa and New Zealand complete their programme at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.

“We’ll be playing against a really good All Blacks side, but it’s just been a few months since this team has got together, so to think that we can just go and topple the All Blacks easily would be living in a fool’s paradise,” Coetzee told reporters.

“I think we have to look at the strides we’re taking and build on what we have.

“We are still hurting obviously from the previous result against them, but we will prepare as well as we can and we will be ready for them at Newlands.”

He will be looking for a positive finish after Elton Jantjies missed a last-minute penalty that would have handed the Boks a morale-boosting victory over the Wallabies.

“When you draw at home it actually feels like a loss, but I’m very proud of this team and the effort. After a tough two weeks, it just shows the character of the side, and that was tested,” he added.

“It’s been an emotional week and we spoke of turning it around. Although the Wallabies got off to a fast start and scored first, we got stuck in.

“We created opportunities and that was the pleasing thing. The fact that we did not convert all of those, was not. This was a fantastic test match, with the physicality right up there and the skill set on display was very good and we were part of that.

“There were foundations laid and lessons learned tonight that will take this team forward. We do create opportunities. Players must never be scared to take chances.” (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by John O’Brien)

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