Two ‘desperate’ teams go head-to-head at Rugby Champs opener

Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids believes the Springboks and All Blacks will be desperate to get theirs rugby league the campaigns got off to a winning start in the first test at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.

Both teams head into the tournament after contrasting incoming tours, with the Boks beating Wales 2-1, while the All Blacks lost 2-1 to Ireland.

Despite this, Davids believes the home side are equally desperate to kick things off on a winning note.

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“We understand that as a team they are very desperate to put in a better performance (from the Irish series), but we are also desperate to keep improving our game,” Davids explained.

“So I think our attitude towards how we prepare for New Zealand or any other team is not going to change and it’s about becoming the best we can be.

“For us it is important to be at our best for every Test match. History will tell you that the Tests between New Zealand and South Africa are often among the most contested matches.

Physical aggression

The Boks are also preparing for all-out physical aggression from the visitors, especially from set pieces, where they will be eager to disrupt the home side’s biggest threats, namely their scrums, lineouts and mauls.

“We have a lot of respect for the way New Zealand approach the battle from set pieces. I can understand that just like us they are always looking to improve their scrums and mauls and in terms of stopping the maul of the opponent,” Davids said.

“We know it will be a hard fought and physical area against New Zealand. Their new forwards coach (Jason Ryan) pointed out the fact that’s an area they want to improve.

“If you look at the work he’s done with Fiji and the Crusaders over the past few years, we know it’s going to be a challenge. But we also want to improve in that specific area, so we’ll prepare for that.