Brodie Retallick I love components, because they are beautiful!
Pretoria – There’s no area that won’t be important when the Springboks go up against the All Blacks tomorrow, every single one will count. Both sides will obviously want the win. Both sides will want to prove a point in Wellington. Both sides will want to go into their World Cup opener knowing they got the upper hand in their last meeting. And that, again, makes every mini battle a key one.
Nonetheless, here are three areas that could be especially interesting.
The All Blacks like quick ball, they thrive on it.
The fact that Kwagga Smith will represent the Boks at No 6 adds extra spice to this contest – not only is he an impressive ball player, as Rassie Erasmus described him in the week – but his speed to the breakdown and that bulldog-like attitude he has on the ground will be much needed. The Boks also have the likes of Duane Vermeulen and Malcolm Marx who can do their thing on the deck.
They are armed with impressively capable breakdown operators, and using that to spoil the opposition’s party and curbing the likes of Shannon Frizell, another dynamic Kiwi baller, from pouncing around those edges is vital.
Set pieces are going to have to be defended and aced to lay an attacking platform, but there are so many subtleties to be enjoyed when it comes to tomorrow’s second-row line-ups.
Eben Etzebeth and Franco Mostert will be going up against the most experienced lock pairing in world rugby, and individually, their resumes almost look even better.
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