• Rugby Championship
  • 15th Sep 2012
  • KO 08:35
Home team Score Away team

New Zealand

21 - 11

South Africa

Tries Dagg (1) Smith (1)
Conversions Cruden (1)
Penalty Goals Cruden (3)
Tries Habana (1)
Penalty Goals Steyn (1) Goosen (1)

Proteas face tough task

14th September 2012, 03:46pm

Heyneke Meyer: Spoke of a 'huge challenge' for his team

Heyneke Meyer: Spoke of a 'huge challenge' for his team

South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has admitted his team face an uphill task to come away with a victory in the supposed greatest rivalry in rugby against New Zealand this weekend.

Meyer's team face the All Blacks in Dunedin knowing that, for all the hype that can surround a meeting of these two teams, South Africa have won only three and drawn one of the 21 Tests they have played in New Zealand since their readmission to international rugby in 1990.

"Even with an experienced pack it is always a tough challenge against the All Blacks ... it is the ultimate challenge for any rugby player, especially a Springbok, to play New Zealand in New Zealand," Meyer said on sarugby.net.

"We are excited about that. I know people are not giving us a chance, but I believe this team is growing. We will definitely have to step up on Saturday and it will be a huge challenge for our pack."

South Africa come into the game after a frustrating 26-19 loss to Australia in Perth last week.

Meyer cited a lack of experience in explaining that loss, but that seems to be less of a concern for him going into Saturday's clash.

"I do have confidence in this pack ... with Flo (Francois Louw) and Flip [van der Merwe] in, it is a little bit more experienced there ... guys who can mix it up," he said.

"It will be a tough battle up front, especially at scrum time, but you want to test yourself against the best in the world."

New Zealand have recalled lock Sam Whitelock to the starting line-up after he was benched last time out against Argentina.

Whitelock admitted coach Steve Hansen's decision to leave him out had come as a reality check.

"'Shag' (Hansen) is really honest and that's what we players want," he said.

"You don't want someone beating around the bush. If they're not playing well, everyone in the team wants to know.

"I was happy with some areas of my game, including set pieces. But around the field was the thing I was working on. I've got to make sure I fix that this week.

"I didn't know how long I would be out of the starting line-up so to get back this week is really exciting. It's special whether it's your first or 100th Test so now the key is to make sure I play well."

Whitelock is familiar with the two Springbok locks from the Bulls, Juandre Kruger and Van der Merwe, who he has played against in Super Rugby matches.

"They're really good players and they bring massive challenges to us as individuals and as a pack. We have to make sure we do our homework on them and then get out there and play well."

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