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Thu Apr 24 18:43:47 SAST 2014

'Boks need some luck'

LIAM DEL CARME in Auckland | 11 September, 2012 07:270 Comments
South Africa Springboks Captain's Run
Johann Van Graan (L) and Heyneke Meyer look on during a Springboks captain's run at Patersons Stadium on September 7, 2012 in Perth, Australia
Image by: Paul Kane / Getty Images

BEATING world champions All Blacks at home is so daunting a proposition that it cannot be done without a conspiring hand from the rugby gods, believes Bok coach Heyneke Meyer.

As fastidious and meticulous as Meyer is in his preparation of the Springboks, the coach contends they will need the rub of the green if they are to triumph over the All Blacks in Saturday's Four Nations test in Dunedin.

"If you want to win away from home, especially against New Zealand, you are going to need some kind of luck as well," Meyer said.

"You need huge improvement and you are going to need a bit of luck if you want to beat New Zealand in New Zealand and that has been the case for, I'd say, more than 100 years."

The ball Ricky January chipped in Dunedin in 2008 bounced kindly into his bread basket en route to a famous try and win over the All Blacks, while Jean de Villiers scored an intercept try the following year.

Meyer went on to sing the praises of a team not quite as beset with retirement and injury as their two traditional southern hemisphere rivals.

"Even on the days they don't get it 100% right, they still win games," said Meyer.

"They can play any sort of game. In the first game they took it wide and in the second they came back with switches. They are well-balanced with no real weaknesses. They have many game-breakers."

Despite their defeat, the Springboks took some steps in the right direction against the Wallabies.

"We only missed one line-out when Tiaan (Liebenberg) came on. I think South Africa is the best at set pieces thus far in the competition," the coach said.

He also sprang to the defence of his maligned game plan after he was asked if the team's kick-and-chase tactics would be altered for an indoor venue.

"It is all about the defence. I know people want us to get the ball at the back and run through the defence but that usually works in the movies. It doesn't work at this level any more," the coach said.

The All Blacks will again be without the injured Dan Carter, which means Aaron Cruden is likely to stay in the No10 jersey. Cruden failed to stamp his authority on proceedings against Argentina, but the rainy and windy conditions conspired against most players in Wellington on Saturday.

The All Blacks were made to toil before they cracked Argentina's resolve.

The indoor stadium in Dunedin will mean weather won't be a part of the equation.

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