Springboks will be better prepared next time for All Blacks

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Springbok defence coach Jacques Nienaber said lessons from their loss had been quickly included in their preparation to play Namibia on Saturday.

 

Nienaber said the experience of playing the All Blacks was perfect preparation for the playoff challenges South Africa are aiming for.

 

"It's always nice to see what challenges New Zealand would throw at us," he said.

 

"We had an idea that they would kick a little bit more and they kicked a lot more! I probably didn't expect them to kick that much but, yes, we did expect a lot of attacking kicks.

 

"Out of the 21 they kicked that we had to defend, I think there was about eight that I would say they had the upper hand on and, unfortunately, two were catastrophic for us, but the others I thought we handled fairly well," he said.

There were benefits from playing the All Blacks in a pool game. It was like playing a semifinal in the pool, he said, and South Africa had learned a lot.

 

"For us it was a great match in terms of tactics, physical confrontation, getting challenged in all departments; mentally, the build-up during the week, the enormity of the game, then in the game itself, the physicality, the speed of the game.

 

"You know if you play the All Blacks and you make two errors it's 14 points – we made three consecutively and it was 17 points. So it's nice to play a game like that where there is that much pressure and where if you make a mistake they're going to punish you," he said.

 

Namibia would provide South Africa with a chance to eradicate the mistakes they suffered while also putting their developing strategies to the test in a continuing evolution of their plan.

 

"Our system will develop, and obviously New Zealand opened up something in the way they attack and their style of play that we have to address and work on so it was nice to get that insight and start focusing on that," he said.

 

"Obviously there were things that we lacked in the New Zealand Test and we want to improve on those and build our systems and the skillset of our individual players within the system. Seeing improvement in those areas would be more joyful for me than how many or how few points we concede," he said.

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