Boks seek rare recent victory over All Blacks
LIAM NAPIER IN JOHANNESBURG
Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer says beating the All Blacks will be vital to the psychological state of his side.
And he wants consistent wins over the world champions leading into the 2015 World Cup.
The Boks host the All Blacks in Soweto on Sunday (4am NZ time) in the final match of the Rugby Championship which New Zealand have already won with their unbeaten run through the tournament.
South Africa have beaten the All Blacks just once in six tests over the past two years. Their sole victory came with an 18-5 result in Port Elizabeth last year when New Zealand played largely a second-string team, tactically resting stars like Dan Carter and Richie McCaw ahead of their World Cup triumph.
Meyer has had a rocky introduction to the Springboks job but feels his planning is starting to show progress. He felt the seeds for last week's thumping of Australia in Pretoria were sewn in the 21-11 loss to the All Blacks two weeks earlier in Dunedin.
The Boks were highly competitive for much of that match but suffered through poor goalkicking and ill-discipline.
"They got a huge amount of confidence after the first New Zealand game, and confidence is contagious as a lack of confidence," Meyer said of his players' current state of mind.
"I've always said it is a process, and if we win (against the All Blacks on) Saturday I think we've come a long way and we've won all our home games and look forward to the end-of-year tour.
"It is also psychological ... we have to beat them to be able to believe that and beat them consistently especially going forward to the World Cup."
Meyer said the key to beating Australia had been the way his players executed the game plan.
"When I went through the video there was almost silence for the whole video because there was not much that I could add," Meyer said.
"They are starting to understand the game plan, what we want from them and how we want them to play."
Meyer was now working on a game plan to beat the All Blacks. Much of that would be based around the Boks' traditional methods of applying pressure and feeding off opposition mistakes.
"It will be a big test for us, and the All Blacks will have a lot of confidence. These games are always 50-50s and we will need to push their pressure points," Meyer said.
"What you have to do is realise you will never beat New Zealand by trying to play their game plan. They have quality athletes from one to 15 and a lot of game breakers. We also have a few.
"The one way to beat New Zealand is to apply pressure to them. You're not going to outrun them. Obviously you have to run in the right areas, and we do want to score tries, but the only way to beat them is to put pressure on them, especially at the breakdown, in your defence and in the kicking game as well.
"You will have to put a lot of pressure on them and force them to play our type of game and force them to make mistakes, and then score off those mistakes."
- © Fairfax NZ News