New Zealand battle South Africa in the Rugby Championship in pursuit of resurgence after a brutal period under Ian Foster. It’s been five Test defeats in six, while the All Blacks were treated to a 26-10 pummelling from the Springboks last week in Mbombela, heightening the pressure for this Test in Johannesburg. It represented the biggest win for the Boks over their southern hemisphere rivals since 1928.
The All Blacks have plummetted to fifth in the world rankings, with a demoralising first home Test series loss since 1994 after Ireland’s sensational triumph last month. Another loss could spark a coaching change, and with 13 months until the World Cup, there is great urgency to rediscover the edge that made New Zealand one of the most dominant forces in sport.
“We know there’s a lot of pressure on, and we’re feeling that,” Foster said. “But our job is to look at our performance and how we can grow it. I understand the frustration, but that doesn’t change what we have to do here. There’s no point sulking about it for too long.” Follow all the build-up and action from what promises to be a compelling Test match below:
Siya Kolisi delighted to reunite with World Cup winning loose trio
South Africa captain Siya Kolisi can’t wait to be reunited with his Rugby World Cup winning loose trio partners against New Zealand on Saturday, the first time they have played together since lifting the William Webb Ellis trophy three years ago.
The Boks host the All Blacks in a second Rugby Championship test at their fortress Ellis Park, looking to build on their 26-10 victory in Nelspruit last weekend that was their biggest victory over New Zealand in 94 years.
Kolisi will scrum with fellow flank Pieter-Steph du Toit and Duane Vermeulen for the first time since the 2019 World Cup final, where they were instrumental in the Boks beating England 32-12 in Yokohama.
Injury has largely kept them apart up to now, but they will be a handful on attack and defence for the All Blacks, and potent at the breakdown.
“It is the same game-plan as we had during the World Cup and we expect the same from each other,” Kolisi told reporters on Saturday. “It doesn’t matter who I’m playing with, I have to deliver the same level.
“My job doesn’t change but having someone like Duane back in the team with that level of experience… I need as much experience around me on the field as I can get.”
Jack Rathborn13 August 2022 14:35
All Blacks legend Sean Fitzpatrick calls for calm
All Blacks legend Sean Fitzpatrick had previously called for composure amid calls for Ian Foster to be sacked after the third-Test defeat against Ireland.
“Have they got a team that is a capable of winning the World Cup? From what we’ve seen in the last two weeks, you would doubt that,” Fitzpatrick told Sky Sports.
“But the All Blacks don’t turn from being a world-class team to a not world-class team overnight.”
Jack Rathborn13 August 2022 14:20
Julian Savea defends Ian Foster after criticism and pressure on All Blacks coach
“In a country where mental health is a big issue – where 72 per cent of suicides are men and a high number of depression amongst men, you would think people would be a bit kinder,” Savea said on Twitter.
“And think about their words before they make remarks on someone’s integrity, appearance and character, especially when they don’t know them on a personal level.
“I’m ashamed that this is how a human is treated and dragged in the media here in NZ.”
Jack Rathborn13 August 2022 14:05
All Blacks train for South Africa Test
Jack Rathborn13 August 2022 13:50
Ian Foster on crucial South Africa Test as All Blacks job hangs in balance
“We know there’s a lot of pressure on, and we’re feeling that,” Foster said. “But our job is to look at our performance and how we can grow it.
“I understand the frustration, but that doesn’t change what we have to do here. There’s no point sulking about it for too long.”
Jack Rathborn13 August 2022 13:37
South Africa vs New Zealand: Starting line-ups and replacements
South Africa: 15 Damian Willemse; 14 Jesse Kriel, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi; 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Jaden Hendrikse; 1 Ox Nche, 2 Joseph Dweba, 3 Frans Malherbe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Lood de Jager, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Pieter Steph du Toit, 8 Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements:16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Hershel Jantjies, 23 Willie le Roux.
New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett; 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 David Havili, 11 Caleb Clarke; 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith; 1 Ethan de Groot, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 4 Sam Whitelock, 5 Scott Barrett, 6 Shannon Frizell, 7 Sam Cane (c), 8 Ardie Savea.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 George Bower, 18 Fletcher Newell, 19 Tupou Vaa’i, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Quinn Tupaea.
Jack Rathborn13 August 2022 11:55
South Africa vs New Zealand: Team news
Jacques Nienaber has made four changes to his starting XV as the Springboks gun for back-to-back wins over the All Blacks. Faf de Klerk was knocked out cold during the early stages of last week’s victory, so Jaden Hendrikse starts at scrum-half with Jess Kriel on the right wing instead of Kurt-Lee Arendse, who has been banned for four weeks after his dangerous tackle on Beauden Barrett. Two-thirds of the front row have changed with Ox Nche and Joseph Dweba starting at loosehead prop and hooker respectively.
The big news for New Zealand is that Bauden Barrett is surprisingly dropped to the bench as Richie Mo’unga starts at fly-half. There are three changes in the pack as props Ethan de Groot and Tyrel Lomax and blindside flanker Shannon Frizell are all promoted after coming on as replacements last week. Tighthead prop Fletcher Newell could make his All Blacks debut after being named among the subs.
Jack Rathborn13 August 2022 11:46
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