By Steve McMorran, AP24 Sep 2021 06:31
The All Blacks and Springboks volition conscionable for the 100th clip contiguous (5.05pm AEST) successful a Test which mightiness determine this year's Rugby Championship but which immoderate observers besides spot arsenic a contention for the psyche of rugby.
The lucifer successful Townsville features a stark opposition of styles betwixt the All Blacks' free-flowing, high-paced benignant which relies connected accomplishment and keeping the shot successful manus and the Springboks' little adventurous crippled which focuses connected kicking and assertive guardant play.
There is small uncertainty which benignant rugby fans astir enjoy.
Leading analysts and erstwhile coaches from astir the satellite person been astir unanimous successful criticising the Springboks' benignant which they fearfulness volition crook disconnected rugby audiences.
Two-time World Cup-winning All Blacks manager Steve Hansen said during the bid betwixt the Springboks and British and Irish Lions this play "it's not a crippled that anybody wants to watch."
In a file successful England's Daily Mail, 2003 World Cup-winning manager Clive Woodward — ne'er a instrumentality of the All Blacks — applauded New Zealand for playing "proper rugby."
Commenting aft South Africa's back-to-back losses to Australia implicit the past 2 weekends, Woodward wrote: "I looked connected successful fearfulness past play astatine the sheer poorness and boredom from the South Africa squad against Australia. Rugby was not — and is not — meant to beryllium played similar that and I'm conscionable pleased Australia won.
"The Boks' bid against the Lions was small amended and it should interest everyone progressive successful the athletics that rugby is going down that route. It volition beryllium dormant successful 5 years if it does."
The Springboks person been defiant successful the look of that criticism, arguing that the extremity justifies the means.
South Africa is the existent satellite champion.
Though the bid against the Lions is regarded arsenic 1 of the slightest breathtaking large bid successful caller years — betwixt 2 unambitious teams — the Springboks accidental winning justifies their chosen style.
Five-eighth Handre Pollard made that statement erstwhile the Springboks bushed Argentina doubly successful Rugby Championship matches successful South Africa.
"Everyone has got their mode of playing rugby that they deliberation is the close way," Pollard said.
"For us, it is not astir entertaining. Test lucifer rugby is astir winning."
Springboks adjunct manager Mzwandile Stick, liable for the team's backmost play, mounted a much colorful defence.
"We are the No.1 squad successful the satellite currently, we are satellite champions presently truthful radical ever speech astir us," Stick said.
"Even if it is affirmative oregon negative... it is the quality of the presumption wherever we are."
Where South Africa goes now, aft their 2 losses to the Wallabies suggest their strategy is not ever a winning one, volition beryllium seen tonight.
The Springboks indispensable person little assurance successful their kicking crippled against opponents who tin not lone defuse the precocious shot but crook it against them.
South Africa manager Jacques Nienaber says the losses to Australia were not the responsibility of the crippled program but of the Boks' mediocre execution.
Tonight's lucifer whitethorn again enactment the strategy connected trial.
All Blacks manager Ian Foster expects the Springboks to beryllium good prepared and focused connected due execution of the plan.
"We've got nary uncertainty that South Africa has had a program for a agelong clip for this game," Foster said.
"What we person learned is not to beryllium amazed astatine the strength of the opponent's physique up and not to get lulled into a consciousness of their erstwhile 2 weeks and their erstwhile signifier and deliberation that that is going to beryllium an indicator of what happens connected Saturday," helium said.