Hansen says Boks will give them opportunities in World Cup opener 'as they roll the dice big-time'
KAGOSHIMA – All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says the Springboks will give them opportunities the way they play the game as the teams clash in the World Cup opener in Japan on Saturday.
"There is not too much between the two teams based on recent results. Under coach Rassie Erasmus their defensive system has changed a lot," said Hansen.
"They roll the dice big-time. They're fit. To be able to roll the dice like they are they have got to be fit," he said.
Rolling the dice was his description of South Africa's tactic of having their wings rush in off their flanks in defensive plays, something, he said, the South Africans were very good at.
"You want them to roll a couple of ones rather than a pair of sixes," he said.
"South Africa will give us opportunities because they roll the dice. Are we good enough to take them? Will the weather conditions allow us to be able to take them? They're all things that we'll have to wait and see," he said.
"Rugby games are won just by people doing their own job really, really well and hopefully you don't have to pull something out of your back pocket. The job is done because you've done your role well," he said.
Hansen said the All Blacks had improved since their draw with South Africa in Wellington earlier in the season. But South Africa would also have improved.
Coping with their system involved being patient, having the right depth, a decent kicking game and the right intent.
While the game with South Africa was a tough start to the tournament, all the games were challenging depending on the goals sought from each game.
"Clearly this is going to be a big match because it is the All Blacks v South Africa and it is traditionally a massive clash anyway.
"Logic tells you that whoever wins this game probably wins the pool. But as we found out in 2011 you don't have to necessarily win the pool to get in the final. France did it the other way.
"So it's not the end of the world and it doesn't mean you're going to win the World Cup or get in the final because you win this game.
"There's a lot of water to go under the bridge but having said that because it's South Africa it will be a big game."
African News Agency (ANA)