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Meyer's prescription to beat AllBlacks

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Sportal.co.nz     13 Sep 2012     Getty Images

To overcome that record you needed to be: 'technically astute, your defence needs to be impeccable and there needs to be no soft moments in your discipline. You need to be 100 percent, and even then you need some luck'.

That was his prescription and given the injury woes his side has suffered he has chosen a side with as much experience as possible

"There's not a lot of difference between the top three sides in the world but I believe the All Blacks are still a way ahead," he said in Auckland ahead of the side's transfer south to Dunedin.

"If you look at their team they are very well balanced with a lot of experience. I've got the biggest respect for a guy like Richie McCaw, I think he's probably the best player who's ever played rugby. He's a leader from the front so an unbelievable team at this stage," he said.

Francois Hougaard will play on the open side flank in place of Marcell Coetzee while Flip van der Merwe will get his chance after the suspension of fellow lock Eben Etzebeth who was suspended for head-butting Australian lock Nathan Sharpe.

Meyer said with not only Richie McCaw but other forwards as well being effective at the breakdown he went with Louw because he was a specialist openside while No.8 Duane Vermeulen was also good 'on the floor'.

It was a 'horses for courses' approach and the man Louw replaced, Marcell Coetzee would get some time in the match. Both Louw and van der Merwe would provide the experience necessary to cope with the 'ultimate experience in rugby, playing New Zealand'.

Meyer acknowledged there was a gamble being taken in the scrum with two tightheads named, Jannie du Plessis and Tendai Mtawarira. He was positive both players would come through.

"Saturday is going to be a huge challenge for our pack but I have confidence in them. It's going to be a tough battle up front, especially at scrum time.

He wasn't worried that the All Blacks enjoyed the favouritism for the game. His teams had always been written off but he felt an inexperienced team always played better if they were written off.

"We haven't had a good record in New Zealand with great teams and experienced teams so I think it is going to be win-win for us and we've got a lot of respect for the All Blacks but if you don't believe you have a chance to win then you will never win," he said.

Aaron Smith's presence had been noted in the All Blacks side and he had made a significant contribution to the way the side was playing. Meyer ranked already a great player.

The covered stadium would probably suit New Zealand's game but South Africa also preferred dry conditions and he was hopeful a fast game would result.

The team is: 1. Tendai Mtawarira, 2.Adriaan Strauss, 3.Jannie du Plessis, 4.Flip van der Merwe, 5.Juandre Kruger, 6.Francois Louw, 7.Willem Alberts, 8.Duane Vermeulen, 9.Ruan Pienaar, 10.Morne Steyn, 11.Francois Houggard, 12.Frans Steyn, 13.Jean de Villiers (captain), 14.Bryan Habana, 15.Zane Kirchner.

Reserves: 16.Tiaan Liebenberg, 17.Dean Greyling, 18.Andries Bekker, 19.Marcell Coetzee, 20.Johan Goosen, 21. Juan de Jongh, 22.Pat Lambie.