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Coetzee wants repeat of Wallabies 'dog fight' against All Blacks

By Tom Webber
Ross Cronje during South Africa’s Rugby Championship draw against Australia

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South Africa coach Allister Coetzee is aiming to drag New Zealand into another “dog fight” after clawing back a 10-point deficit before drawing 23-23 with Australia in the Rugby Championship on Saturday.


The Wallabies took a 20-10 lead early in the second half of the clash at nib Stadium, but the Springboks turned the match around through Malcolm Marx’s try and eight points from the boot of fly-half Elton Jantjies.

Bernard Foley’s penalty 10 minutes from time saved a share of the spoils for Australia, but Coetzee was delighted by the fighting spirit shown by his team in sodden conditions.

The Springboks coach is hoping similar weather in Albany next weekend when they take on the All Blacks – who have won all three of their matches – can lead to a repeat performance and keep their dreams of victory alive.

“[There were] two good sides who were really desperate tonight and you could see that things had to change, whatever plans you had with the weather conditions it allowed it to become a bit of a dog fight and we adapted well,” Coetzee said in a post-match interview.

“I’m really pleased with the fact we could claw ourselves back into the Test match from 10 points behind in the second half, so I’m proud of this team we’ve got. Things that we’ve worked on have paid off.


“We let ourselves down in the first half with a little bit of indiscipline, we do concede a bit of yards against Australia but once they get in your half you need to stay out of the rucks and I think there we could have done better.

“In general, I’m really pleased with this – you’re never pleased with a draw, but I’m pleased with the result.

“The mindset was different this year. In terms of the past we’ve been thinking about the All Blacks way too early and forget about a tough and a good Wallabies side.

“Next week is a different challenge all together. We have to up our discipline, keep the physicality and it will be similar weather I think next week and we had a taste of how we should be able to change the game into a dog fight.”


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Coetzee wants repeat of Wallabies 'dog fight' against All Blacks