All Blacks vs Springboks: Big Boppers eye improvements in South African rematch

With equal parts of frustration and awe fueling them in the wake of their rugby championship win over South Africa, the All Blacks rush to secure a second chance against the old foe seven days later. .

That was really the message from starting props Joe Moody and Nepo Laulala as they reflected on Saturday’s 19-17 victory over the Springboks in Townsville which sets New Zealanders up for a “grand slam” of the rugby championship this past. week on gold. Rating.

That was the firm goal of coach Ian Foster minutes after the final whistle last Saturday night in scorching north Queensland, underscoring how special it would be under such difficult circumstances to wipe out this competition. hard.

Nepo Laulala says it's like running through a <a class=brick wall against South Africa in the tryout arena.” style=”width:100%;display:inline-block”/>

Ian Hitchcock / Getty Images

Nepo Laulala says it’s like running through a brick wall against South Africa in the tryout arena.

Shortly after Monday’s video review, Laulala spoke about the brutality of the challenge against the Springboks up front and the feeling of satisfaction coming away with the win. Moody also enjoyed the physical battle, but spoke of the frustration with some of the other tactics South Africans employ, at melee time, with the kicking and slowing down of the fight.

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The All Blacks, by their own admission, were fortunate enough to secure a victory over a South African side that stuck strictly to their kick and chase plan, and caught the All Blacks somewhat on the sidelines. blow in scorching conditions.


Joe Moody: The All Blacks’ review of the Springboks test shows that there is “a lot of room for improvement.”

The New Zealanders dropped a lot of balls, both on kicks and passes, and missed a bit during the line-up and scrum, as well as the blackout where the review Monday revealed key shortcomings. In other words, they did well to secure that latest victory, via Jordie Barrett’s icy boot, to keep their perfect 2021 record intact.

Laulala and Moody gave the Springboks a lot of credit for making things so difficult during the 100th clash between the two nations. It was the first time they have faced each other since winning 23-13 to open the group match at the 2019 World Cup, and there is a distinct feeling that they will be better this week for the experience of Townsville.

All Blacks mainstay Joe Moody is tackled by South African Damian de Allende during Saturday's test in Townsville.

Ian Hitchcock / Getty Images

All Blacks mainstay Joe Moody is tackled by South African Damian de Allende during Saturday’s test in Townsville.

“It’s pretty cool,” Laulala said of the melee battle. “It’s hard to find good scrum opposition, and when you come up against a peloton that just wants to kill you, that just wants to go straight through you, it’s a different feeling, especially after the game.

“It’s so rewarding to win. Those kind of painful feelings now after the game, it’s almost like a reward for me. It’s more satisfying than going out feeling good.

Laulala spoke about the mindset it takes to face “big, strong men who want to fold you in half” and said the All Blacks would be in a better position this week to take on that challenge.

“These are natural brick walls when you try to walk through them,” he said. “It’s always a standoff against Africans, but these are the games where you see clearly what you also need to work on. It was difficult and much more satisfying than those big winning margin games.


‘It was a good shot’: Jordie Barrett opens up on winning kick against Springboks

Moody also enjoyed the melee battle. “They are tall and powerful men and the different aspects of the technicalities they also bring challenges, as well as their sheer power and size. It’s always a good challenge, ”he said.

But it can also be frustrating when the scrum calls go against you, as they sometimes were on Saturday with English referee Luke Pearce.

“We know their tight heads like to attack and attack our hookers, that kind of chase,” Moody said of the Boks’ melee approach. “Even the way they set up on the link, put some autonomy with their No 8 firing early to start their melee…

The battle is always tough at melee time when the All Blacks and Boks are fighting, and Saturday was no different.

Ian Hitchcock / Getty Images

The battle is always tough at melee time when the All Blacks and Boks are fighting, and Saturday was no different.

What annoyed Moody a bit was the South Africans’ tactics to slow down the game with injury breaks.

“It has become very frustrating,” he said. “I almost felt like I was barely sweating,” he said. “Literally, pretty much every stop, someone was falling and taking a smoko, so it would be nice if something could be sorted out with the refereeing this weekend.”

The review made it clear that most of what the All Blacks need to sort out was on their own, with Moody saying the All Blacks had an “average night at the office.”

“If you saw all the clips that have been shown to us where we could have made better decisions and done things better, you would say there is a lot of room for improvement,” he said of the comment. of Saturday’s goal at Cbus Super Stadium. “At night, you didn’t realize how much we missed and missed, but the review showed there was a lot of room for improvement.”

And as Moody made clear, the coaching message this week was to take responsibility.

“For the most part, we were in the right places, and it was the decision making that let us down. These are guys who call the ball when they are in the right place. We are missing out on a lot and need to be better at our roles. “

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