The All Blacks are fired up for the clash against the Springboks. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/

A fired up All Blacks team is expecting all-out-war from the Springboks on Saturday. The Kiwis say they are in a good state going into their big match with the Boks, but are they?

“We're in a good space,” said coach Steve Hansen. “It's an exciting time, it's going to be a massive occasion and a massive game. The South Africans are going to be well and truly up for it so we can't wait.

“We know World Cup games are different to any other games ... it's going to be one of the bigger games over your career. It's an awesome challenge, a massive game, but we deal with massive games constantly as All Blacks."

Hansen has made changes around  his back row but he obviously believes he has got it right.

“We're swopping around at the back and the side of the scrum and working as well together as we can. It's a full package and crucial that we've integrated Shannon Frizell who's come in this week (as an injury replacement for Luke Jacobson).

New Zealand Captain Kieran Read said:  "It's probably the first time I've been the biggest loose forward out there. But across the board we've got to be physical against this South African team. I pride myself on my defence and making sure I'm leading that as much as I can."

And what does Hansen expect from the Springboks?

“The same as always. What they do, they do really well - being physical, kicking well, accruing points when they're on offer, using their strengths, which is their maul, and now they've got the ability to play off counter-attack and off turnover ball from their backs. We know what's coming and I think we're in a good place to put out a plan that's going  to work." 


IOL Sport

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