Allister Coetzee. Picture: LEE WARREN/GALLO IMAGES
Allister Coetzee. Picture: LEE WARREN/GALLO IMAGES

By the time the Springboks play Ireland in Dublin next weekend‚ the blood-and-guts performance of their narrow defeat to the All Blacks at Newlands would be almost forgotten.

Coach Allister Coetzee‚ however‚ is hoping his team can summon the same levels of commitment when they face Ireland on November 11.

"That is the challenge. We cannot accept that is just going to happen‚" said Coetzee.

The coach then pointed to the different demands southern hemisphere teams face on an end-of-season tour‚ but stressing that they have learnt from 2016’s winless streak.

"An end-of-year tour normally comes with different challenges‚ the type of game played‚ especially at the breakdown and the referee’s interpretation.

"I think the way we are able to adapt has improved.

"The other challenge will be the aerial game that they play.

"In Super Rugby we don’t face the aerial bombardment because we want to keep ball in hand. If you look at a player like Conor Murray [Ireland’s scrumhalf] he is a great‚ world-class nine," Coetzee said.

"He is pinpoint accurate with his kicking. That is something we faced last year."

In that regard the Springboks are likely to receive the ball back-pedalling. They can‚ however‚ get themselves onto the front foot in other areas.

"Our mauling and lineouts will be crucial in conditions over there‚" Coetzee said, before cautioning that their preparation may be affected by the weather.

"Here we can have two sessions a day‚ there you have to plan really well."

A lesson learnt from the 2016 tour was the disruptive nature of losing players for matches outside the Test window.

"We lose three players because the game is outside the international window‚" Coetzee said about the December 2 clash against Wales in Cardiff.

"That’s why we’ve selected 34 players. Those players will be with us from start to finish."

The coach said the retention of what has worked for them was essential. In that regard continuity was key.

"Everyone apart from Lukhanyo Am has been part of training camps this year. The continuity is a big plus."

Although he wanted to develop the squad by bedding down a playing system with which they become increasingly familiar‚ results were ultimately the only currency in which international coaches trade.

"Whatever you say‚ you have to win Test matches for SA.

"We focus on the process‚ not the outcome‚ the players understand that.

"It is important to kick off on a positive note."


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