Cape Town offers new test for All Blacks

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Lynn McConnell     04 Oct 2017     Getty Images

The All Blacks haven't played in Cape Town since 2008 where Jerome Kaino is the only survivor of their 19-0 win and hooker Dane Coles said he had never won at Newlands with the Hurricanes and he was looking forward to play the Springboks at the famous ground.
Lock Sam Whitelock said he and others had always enjoyed travelling to Cape Town for Super Rugby and it was always hard playing at Newlands and this weekend would be no different.

Coles said the preparation week in South Africa, after travelling from Argentina, was one of the toughest weeks. There wasn't so much spent on the field, recovery was a big factor and there was a lot of time in discussion.

"It's a good challenge, we're not shying away from it. We've shown in the past that we've done it really well and we've just got to make sure we do it again this week," he said.

Whitelock was asked if the All Blacks had the Springboks calls for the Albany Test because they were able to upset a lineout that had been functioning around 90 percent.

He said it would have been nice if they had, but it was just down to preparation.

"It just shows that it doesn't matter what any team is doing, how they are tracking, you've got to prepare, first of all yourself individually. We've had a good look at it and with myself not playing last week I've spent a bit more time trying to work out if we can have a better plan, is there a different way of doing it for better results?

"And that's right across the board looking at all the set-piece and all the phase play stuff. We're always looking and no doubt they'll be doing the same and looking at us and trying to work out how to play against us and where they'll get the most rewards.

"That's one of the beautiful things about international rugby, and any rugby in general, there's those little games going on within the mass of things. That's something Dane and I get to do most weeks," he said.

It was a case of constantly evolving their approach and not standing still, he said.

With the architect of the Albany lineout success Luke Romano among the players returning home from Argentina, there was still Scott Barrett who was a player into that sort of thinking that Romano showed.

While they came up with suggestions it was a case of putting it through assessment and ensuring that in dealing with one area they were not leaving themselves exposed in others, he said.

Coles was expecting the South Africans to attempt to apply pressure through their scrum. They had put the All Blacks under pressure in scrums at Albany and he thought they had a great scrum.

The All Blacks had improved their scrum against Argentina and they would be looking to put a plan together which they could hopefully execute on Saturday.