All Blacks eyeing improvement for 'hell of a contest' against Boks

All Blacks eyeing improvement for 'hell of a contest' against Boks

All Blacks forwards coach Jason Ryan admits that despite their impressive win in Argentina, they will need to improve if they are to beat the Springboks.

It will be the first meeting of the year between the two great rivals and to add more to the spectacle it will also be the Rugby Championship decider after both teams came away with victories in round one.

The All Blacks showed their dominance from the outset against Los Pumas, notching up a whopping 31 points in the first half. However, they only managed 10 in the second period as the team was slightly guilty of overplaying.

Ryan acknowledged the achievement of beating Los Pumas in Argentina but insists that there is a lot of work still to be done.

"We're chipping away," he said. "We've still got a lot of work to do. We made some progress against a tough team in a tough place to play. It was good to put some things in place that we've been working on in the last couple of weeks."

The build-up to the Boks game is completely different, as will be the conditions in a soggy Auckland this weekend.

"Our scrum stood up, and we did have some top quality ball," Ryan added. "It's a different game over there with the sun on your back. Mt Smart Stadium a little bit wet on a cold, dewy night¦she's going to be a title fight. It's a lot different contest this week."

As South Africa did in 2019, the world champions sent a group of players to New Zealand early to acclimatise and give them the best chance of beating the All Blacks in their own backyard.

Ryan outlined how the Springboks have a clear idea of their DNA and playing style but also that a few new things were added against Australia. He expects a massive Test.

"They've sent those guys over early for a reason. They'll bring a bit of an edge with them coming over earlier. We've got to be right on," he said.

"They're clear on their identity as a team of who they are around their forwards. Also, I thought they used the ball pretty well, a bit of space and got to some edges and trying different things. And they're a good defensive side. There's a few things we saw that are a little bit different.

"They're pretty clear on their DNA, the Boks, and you've got to respect them and admire them for it. They've got a pretty clear strategy, put the ball in the air, it will be a hell of a contest."

Dangerous duo Will Jordan (migraine issues) and Mark Telea (knee) have both recovered from injury and will be available for the South Africa Test. Veteran Sam Whitelock is said to be progressing well but it remains unclear whether he is in the selection frame for this weekend.