Springboks in better shape for All Blacks

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    11 Sep 2017     Getty Images

Speaking to the media after Saturday's 23-23 draw with Australia in Perth, Coetzee said there was a different mindset about the side this time.
"In the past we were thinking about the All Blacks way too early and forgetting about a tough and good Wallabies side.

"We got close [to beating Australia], we know we had them in the second half, we came up short a couple of times. [It's a] Different challenge next week, I think we'll have to improve our discipline, keep the physicality and be ready for another dog fight," he said.

South Africa have not won over the All Blacks in New Zealand since 2009.

"They're still the best side in world rugby. Argentina showed that when you're accurate and you apply pressure in all the areas of the game, you can take them on," he said.

Like the All Blacks, who will be without first choice props Joe Moody, who dislocated his shoulder against Argentina, and Owen Franks, who has had surgery on his Achilles tendon, South Africa have lost Coenie Oosthuizen who broke his arm against Australia. He has been replaced by Western Province's Wilco Louw, who is uncapped. Ruan Dreyer, the Lions' tighthead prop will also be available after missing the Perth Test while on paternity leave.

Coetzee said the Springboks were fitter than previously and that was due to a united approach to conditioning among the Super Rugby franchises and the international team management.

"We started that last year [by] getting all the conditioners in one room and talk about how are we going to get the national team fit?" he said.

It had been fruitless getting the side together two weeks before the first Test because there was no time for conditioning at that stage.

It was obvious that more conditioning needed to be done with the franchises and while the system was not yet perfect it was a move in the right direction.

One area where definite strength has returned to the Springboks game is at lock.

It is expected that Lions lock Franco Mostert will start against the All Blacks after being rested against Australia. But in the meantime Pieter-Steph du Toit produced an outstanding performance against Australia alongside skipper Eben Etzebeth.

The captain said after the Perth game that du Toit had impressed and there was still Lood de Jager to be considered as well.