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Springbok defence won't cope - Plumtree

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    14 Sep 2017     Getty Images

Plumtree in a column for sarugbymag.co.za agreed with the assessment of former Springbok coach Nick Mallett who claimed the South African defence was too passive and sat back too much.
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"If you sit back against the All Blacks' attack and allow them to play, they will find a way to break you down eventually. The problem with that defensive system is it allows the opposition to keep the ball for a long period of time.

"The All Blacks will be ruthless if the Boks' numbers are down on defence," Plumtree said.

"Against the All Blacks, you have to take a few risks defensively and rush them. But that's not the Boks' defensive system and they won't be able to change it in a short space of time.

"The Boks will defend without coming forward on Saturday, so the All Blacks will be wary of the choke tackle (it's the Boks strength to choke the ball-carrier)," he said.

New Zealand's game would be about building pressure by holding onto the ball to create a mismatch.

While the All Blacks hadn't been at peak efficiency in the Championship there had been periods where both the Wallabies and the Pumas had been able to use that to their own advantage, but they had not been able to sustain the pressure for long enough.

"It's all well and good to have a great 20-minute patch against the All Blacks, but to beat them, you need to have a great 60-70 minutes. You always know the All Blacks will come back at some stage of the match, and you have to be able to defend well enough when they do," he said.

Although they lost first five-eighths Beauden Barrett to a yellow card in New Plymouth at the weekend, the All Blacks lifted their effort to produce their best rugby of the game.

"For the Springboks to beat the All Blacks in New Zealand they will have to produce more than a great 20 or 30-minute patch. They'll have to play very, very well with and without the ball for a long period of time, and I'm not sure they are capable of that. They're not good enough," he said.

Plumtree said the breakdown would be an interesting contest.

"Losing Jaco Kriel to injury is a big blow for the Boks, because the Du Preez twice, if they do start, are in the same mould as Siya Kolisi. The twins would have to work really hard around the field and it would be a big test for them, especially for Dan on his Test debut," he said.