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All Blacks dominant, Boks won't get better - Campese

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    16 Oct 2017     Getty Images

Campese told Sport24.co.za that while the Springboks had improved, especially after their 57-0 loss to the All Blacks in Albany, the New Zealanders had not been at their best.

"I agree South Africa played well in Cape Town and pushed New Zealand close," he said.

"Two great teams played a Test match that people are still talking about and I'm hoping to see that all the time. 



"However, for me, the All Blacks didn't play to their full potential, went through the motions and still won the game.

"At Test level, it doesn't matter if you win by one point or 50 – a win is a win.

"The All Blacks must be applauded for getting the job done and ending the [Investec] Rugby Championship undefeated," he said.

The 101-Test veteran said the All Blacks were far ahead of the other Championship sides.

"The other three sides are still struggling to come to grips with playing a style in their own countries that is going to benefit the national team.

"In contrast, the All Blacks' style of rugby is entertaining, their skills are advanced, they do the basics well and they combine effectively as a unit," he said.

But Campese outlined the reasons he felt it would be tough for the South Africans to reach the All Blacks' level.

"Since the home defeat to the All Blacks, the Boks have slipped to fifth in the world rankings and I don't think they're going to get any better.

"The bottom line is there are too many players plying their trade overseas and are earning so much money that they're not interested in playing in South Africa," he said.

The Springboks also faced some basic issues with their backline. They were effective at hitting the ball up and they could get the ball over the advantage line but were unable to do anything else.

"In Elton Jantjies, the Springboks boast a flyhalf who is a flair player and has got a good vision for the game. However, they have an inside and outside centre, who can't pass the ball," he said.

Campese said he understood from contacts that Jan Serfontein and Jesse Kriel had been fantastic players at schoolboy level but now they had become 'nothing more than battering rams and they can neither see nor create opportunities'.

"I think the problem within South African rugby is that no-one is passing on knowledge," he said.

There was also a wrong perception of the shape of players needed to succeed. Campese said he had seen Breyton Paulse had tweeted that if Damian McKenzie was South African he would never have been selected for the Springboks because he was small.

"I thought to myself: What's being small got to do with it?

"McKenzie has the x factor and creates opportunities on attack. There is actually no problem with smaller players but, in the modern game, coaches want bigger blokes who can run into a brick wall rather than to look to find space…My calling card was my skill and unpredictability.

"Sadly we have lost much of that in the modern game because it has become all about winning and we have moved away from the enjoyment factor.

"The game desperately needs players such as McKenzie, Beauden Barrett, Kurtley Beale and Nehe Milner-Skudder, who are able to entertain. During my playing days, every second or third player was like McKenzie, but today it's the exception rather than the rule, which is a tremendous shame," he said.