Rugby
South Africa v New Zealand: Everything you need to know
RUGBY

South Africa v New Zealand: Everything you need to know

RUGBY
TABODDS
It may be a dead rubber, but South Africa and New Zealand still have plenty to play for in the Rugby Championship on Saturday.
RUGBY
TABODDS

New Zealand are on course to complete another Rugby Championship clean sweep when they visit South Africa in the final round of fixtures on Saturday.

While 2016's perfect tally of 30 points is beyond their reach, victory in Cape Town would represent a sixth win in as many matches for the All Blacks, who wrapped up a fifth championship in six years last weekend.

Discounting the shortened format of World Cup years, New Zealand have not failed to win this competition since the Springboks won the 2009 Tri Nations.

And the outlook appears bleak for this weekend's hosts, with the All Blacks having racked up their highest ever points total against South Africa (57) in each of the last two meetings.

This year's clash in Albany was particularly humiliating for the Springboks as they failed to score a single point in response.

For New Zealand, this is about adding gloss to their customary dominance of the championship. For South Africa, the restoration of some pride against their world-beating opponents will be a priority.

 

HEAD TO HEAD

South Africa: 35
New Zealand: 56
Draw: 3

 

KEY PLAYERS

Elton Jantjies (South Africa): The Springboks are the only team this tournament to have used just one goal kicker, with Jantjies booting 23 of his 28 attempts. With his side bidding to avoid drawing another blank, his kicking could be key to keeping South Africa in touch.

Beauden Barrett (New Zealand): The All Blacks' fly-half, meanwhile, has been central to the side's attacking play, and no player in the championship has made more carries. Full-back Damian McKenzie is level with Barrett on 57.

 

THE LINE-UPS

South Africa: Andries Coetzee, Dillyn Leyds, Jesse Kriel, Jan Serfontein, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje; Steven Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx, Ruan Dreyer, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Francois Louw.

New Zealand: Damian McKenzie, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Ryan Crotty, Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Kane Hames, Dane Coles, Nepo Laulala, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Liam Squire, Sam Cane, Kieran Read.

 

PRE-MATCH TALK

Springboks coach Allister Coetzee on the absence of 95-cap Tendai Mtawarira due to family reasons: "Losing your most experienced player is not ideal, but family comes first in our caring environment."

All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams: "From an individual point of view we want to play really well but collectively we always try to come together put that aside and work for the betterment of the team."

 


OPTA STATS

- New Zealand have scored 114 points in their last two games against South Africa (exactly 57 on each occasion), and are coming off the back of the biggest win in the history of this fixture (57-0).

- The All Blacks have now won five games on the bounce against South Africa, the last time they won more in succession was an eight-game streak from 2001 to 2004.

- This will be the 10th meeting between these sides at Newlands Stadium; in none of the previous nine meetings at the venue did either side score 30+ points; in fact only twice has a side reached 20 points.

- New Zealand are the only side yet to lose a scrum on their own feed in this tournament, winning 39 from 39.

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