All Blacks expect huge test from resurgent Boks

PHIL WALTER  GETTY IMAGES 
 
   Jerome Kaino trained with the All Blacks on Tuesday but will be back with Auckland for the rest of the week

"We have played exceptionally well in patches in Test matches this year but what we are really focussing on is Monday to Friday, nailing that and then that is what gets you your eighty minute performances".

Halfback Aaron Smith will return to the All Blacks' starting side for their Rugby Championship match against resurgent South Africa in Auckland on Saturday in an attempt to speed up the world champions' game.

"We've seen the last couple of weeks how physical they've been, especially up front".

Bench regular TJ Perenara started in the number nine shirt against Argentina in New Plymouth on Saturday and the All Blacks scored six tries in a 39-22 victory, but coach Steve Hansen said he felt Smith would give them more opportunities against the Springboks.

This year has got off to a better start for South Africa though, they won their opening two matches against Argentina and drew 23-all with Australia in Perth on the weekend.

"They'll be coming here with a bit of anger, and with the skill and physicality they're playing with, I'm sure it's going to be a good spectacle".




Matches between the two sides are usually something to savour but the rivalry lost some of its edge previous year after the All Blacks won 41-13 at home and 57-15 in Durban.

He was also encouraged by the way Argentina managed to put pressure on the All Blacks in the first 60 minutes of their defeat last weekend in New Plymouth.

"They seem to be incredibly tight with each other, so they're obviously building something there from a culture point of view and that'll make them more unsafe".

Blindside flanker Vaea Fifita turned the game with a 50-metre try 10 minutes into the second half when the All Blacks were down by seven points.

"But it's a tank that's got plenty in it and our job now is to bring that out, and his job is to work on his game and get better and better and reach his potential", Hansen said.

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