New Zealand head coach, Steve Hansen. Photo: REUTERS/Benoit Tessie

JOHANNESBURG – Coach Steve Hansen is expecting an intense and dramatic contest when the All Blacks run out against the Springboks in Saturday's Rugby Championship Test at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

Hansen's side have already wrapped up the 2018 title even though they tasted defeat at the hands of South Africa in their last meeting in Wellington in New Zealand.

This year New Zealand have scored 48 tries in their eight matches which make for an average of six tries per Test. Overall they've scored 320 points which work out at 40 points a match.

“Test matches between the All Blacks and Springboks are always intense and dramatic contests, and we expect this weekend will be no different," said Hansen.

He added that the fact that the All Blacks had won the Rugby Championship last weekend had no bearing on this weekend.

“Nothing changes for us. It’s a Test match that everyone in New Zealand expects us to win.  The fact that it’s an All Blacks-Springboks Test match makes it even more exciting and it’s one that we’re really looking forward to.

“South Africa are playing with a lot of confidence and after their two recent wins, their levels will be even higher. So we’ll need to respond with real purpose, composure, belief and intensity.

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“While our preparation this week has had to be slightly modified because of our travelling, it has still been thorough, which should put us in good stead for Saturday.” 

African News Agency (ANA)

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