All Blacks are ready to play with an advantage in their game – Ian Foster

All black determined to play with an advantage in their game when they face Boxing in opening rugby championship match at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.

The visitors have had a torrid time of late and have gone into the match, having lost four of their last five games, including two at trot against Ireland, which resulted in them being defeated by them in their first home series.

As such, they will be desperate to change their form and a win over their close rivals in South Africa will go a long way towards regaining their confidence.

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“We don’t like to lose, like any team. This creates an advantage in the group and causes a lot of thought on the part of our players. They are reflecting on their roles and performances and how we can grow,” All Blacks coach Ian Foster explained on Thursday.

“So it certainly created an advantage, and when you tie that into where we are and who we’re playing against, it’s a great mix, isn’t it. It’s a really big challenge for us, we’re excited about it and we want to play better.

“But we also know that we have probably never been a great team in July and this is the start of our year, as is the case for the South Africans and they and we will look to improve on what we have shown in the first three tests (of the season)” .

All-round game

The All Blacks also don’t see the Boks as having just one plan and are gearing up for a comprehensive game plan that they will need to counter in the match.

“They’re definitely not one-trick ponies, that’s just a misconception. But what they do, they do very well, and we know it. You will not become world champions if you do not understand many areas. It’s a great team and they’re playing well,” Foster said.

“But it’s also about us not getting too hung up on it and making sure we come out with thoughts to play our game.

“Like I said before, there is an advantage, we know we can play better, but you don’t do it by worrying about who you play against. You do it by playing the way we want to play.”