CAPE TOWN - All Black Sam Whitelock says they are working on new ways to unsettle the Springboks at the set-piece on Saturday (5.05pm kickoff). In fact, the lineout giant made it clear that they “won’t be sticking to anything that’s worked in the past”.
The South Africa have a lot of areas to improve on as they prepare to host New Zealand at Newlands for the first time since 2008. There’s their scrum, finishing, decision-making and so forth.
But one area that definitely needs to go better than what it did the last time they faced the All Blacks, is the lineout.
There is no doubt that the All Blacks dominated the Springboks at the lineout in Albany, when the hosts secured a record 57-0 win over a hapless Bok outfit.
It was also a particularly unpleasant day for hooker Malcolm Marx and lock Franco Mostert - two Lions who were terrorised by Whitelock in the Super Rugby final and had to deal with his fine lineout form in Albany as well.
And although the All Blacks undoubtedly came out on top at the lineouts the last time they met the Springboks (and the fact that the Bok lineout was a complete shambles in that Rugby Championship drubbing), Whitelock explained that they will come with a new bag of lineout tricks.
“The past doesn’t really matter in this case. You can plan for it as much as you want, but there are heaps of ways to win the ball at the lineout,” Whitelock said.
“Every team has their own style, so you have to be prepared to adjust every week, firstly for the opposition, and then according to what’s happening in the game itself.
"We’re looking to improve on our recent performances, and we certainly won’t be sticking to anything that’s worked in the past.”
Whitelock added that the Boks would have learnt from their defeat in New Zealand.
“The Boks should also be better and so it could come down to which team adjusts the best on the day,” he said.