All Black brothers Beauden and Scott Barrett, instrumental in last year’s 57-0 thrashing of the Springboks, are under no illusion about the physical contest that awaits on Saturday, regardless of the Springboks poor run of results.
While the All Blacks will be heavy favourites for Saturdays clash against the Springboks, the side always speaks of the immense physicality that the South Africans bring when they meet.
New Zealand Herald reported on the brothers’ views ahead of the game.
When speaking of last year’s win, Beauden said: “They were positive memories, I remember the excitement of big Brodie’s try and how we felt after that to see him go the way. But I remember that week itself was probably the best week’s prep we have had for a long time.”
“And there was that genuine edge around because we knew we were in for a big battle and it was a big battle. I remember the first half although we were up heaps on the scoreboard it felt like we’d had to work hard for everything and it hadn’t come easily.
“It was just about taking our opportunities. Simple as that. We know we have to turn up with the right mentality. We know they will be coming hard every time we play them so we have to be ready to take our opportunities because in test matches you don’t get many.”
Come Saturday, Barrett acknowledge that the All Blacks will have to be mentally up for a Bok team hungry to win after two consecutive Rugby Championship losses.
“We know how desperate they will be this week so we know we have to not just match them but be hungrier than them.”
While the Springboks’ form against Argentina and Australia was not up to standard, and their execution poor, they always seem to take it up a notch physically when facing the All Blacks.
“I think you just need to go back to last year’s test in Cape Town and that was one of the most physical tests I have been involved in,” said Scott Barrett, likely to start in the injury enforced absence of Brodie Retallick.
“Any game against the Springboks is going to be physical. They want to dominate you physically up front and some of the backs are big ball carriers so we have to prepare for a huge physical battle.”
“They are pretty direct. They ran hard and straight and have some big men who want to get over the gainline and deliver quick ball for the drivers such as Elton Jantjies and Handre Pollard.”