Boks look ahead to Rugby World Cup final against the All Blacks

Boks look ahead to Rugby World Cup final against the All Blacks

Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids declared that it would be a mistake to look back at their last result against the All Blacks.

The Springboks and New Zealand faced each other twice this year. The All Blacks registered a convincing 35-20 victory against the Boks in Auckland in the Rugby Championship, but the South Africans bounced back from that with a comprehensive 35-7 victory in their last outing at Twickenham before the RWC kicked off.

"This is a completely different game to the last one," said Davids.

"Both teams would have learned lessons from our previous games, and the New Zealanders are playing much better rugby (than the last match we played against them).

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"f you look at the past, you'll fool yourself. So, the focus for us will be on what we need to do in order to be the best we can."

Davids looked forward to the prospect of facing their arch-rivals in the grand finale of the Rugby World Cup and said: "It's an exciting and fantastic week ahead. There's a lot of history between the teams, and we've played against them a few times. But this is a new game under new circumstances, and we have to derive a good plan and be accurate in our execution. It will be a hard-fought battle."

Davids added: "It's always special when we face one another, so it will come down to who does what they have to the best on the day or a brilliant individual moment or two."

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Asked about the contrasting styles of rugby the teams play, Davids said it would make the final intriguing.

"Both New Zealand and us have strengths in the way we play the game, and both squads bring something similar in experience and an X-factor," said Davids.

"This match will come down to playing in the right areas and the team that uses their opportunities the best will probably come out on top."

With a physically draining quarter-final and semi-final behind them - both of which were won by one point - Davids said the team had to be sharp in their approach this week.

"We need to be smart to get the balance right physically and mentally this week, so that the players are fresh and ready to go on Saturday, and to be the best they can be for 80 minutes," said Davids.

"Today, we'll have a rest day and then we'll start building up and making plans for the week. It™s important to stay in the moment, to be as detailed as possible, and not to get ahead of ourselves. We won't change anything in our approach and won't change much this week."

Looking back at their semi-final victory against England, Davids gave the opposition credit for their determined display and said: "Well done to England. They are a well-coached side, and they posed a lot of challenges. As the game went on, we became better and that is a testament to the character of this team."

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