CAPE TOWN – All Black loose forward Sam Cane says the Springboks’ scores in their last three games are not “fair reflections” of where they are as a team.
The results that Cane referred to at the team hotel on Monday include two draws against the Wallabies (23-23 and 27-27) and the 57-0 thrashing the Boks suffered at the hands of the New Zealanders.
And Cane – who is one of five players who arrived in South Africa on Friday – also said that the rivalry between the two teams is still very much alive.
“I think the scores in the last three games is probably not a fair reflection of where they are as a team. They’ve lost a lot of experience and a lot of iconic Springboks over the last few years,” Cane said.
“In my opinion, it is (the rivalry). We’re very much in touch with the history and how tough past Tests have been. We know we have to be on our game, and if not, it will be a real arm wrestle.”
The 25-year-old also said that the Kiwis are “lucky” to be back in the city where they have a huge following, and added that the “crazy” support they have in the Mother City was again evident when they touched down in Cape Town.
A few genuine hackers got out on the golf course today. Good way to fight the jet lag before getting up early again to watch the boys play. pic.twitter.com/npr87EopJW
“I feel pretty lucky to be here, it’s probably one of the few places the boys look forward to when we see it on the schedule. The support we get here is nice, it’s crazy – you could see it at the airport when we arrived, and at the hotel,” he said.
And Cane wasn’t the only one that thought the Boks shouldn’t be underestimated this week.
All Black coach Steve Hansen added that the Boks looked dangerous in their ball-running display against the Wallabies in Bloemfontein.
“The fact that we’ve won the Championship is obviously pleasing, but we’re playing a team we have a lot of history with and one we have a lot of respect for, so it won’t change how we prepare. We’re looking forward to the game.
“I thought they were pretty dangerous, and if they had just been more accurate, they would have scored a couple more tries. I think if they continue to keep doing what they’re doing, they’ll be a dangerous opposition.”
And when asked if their record 57-0 win over the Springboks and the fact that they’ve won the Rugby Championship already have eased some pressure off them, Hansen said: “If you know the All Blacks, you’ll know they’re under pressure all the time in one way or another. So no, it doesn’t change anything.”