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Former All Black captain credits Crusaders duo for dismantling 'one trick pony' Boks

By Sam Smith
Kieran Read with the Freedom Cup

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Former All Black captain Kieran Read has credited first five Richie Mo’unga and new forwards coach Jason Ryan for their roles in taking apart the Springboks at Ellis Park.


Speaking on SENZ Radio on the The Run Home Show, the 128-test No 8 thought that forcing the Springboks to use their bench so early contributed to them tiring out late in the game.

The All Blacks scored two tries in that final 10 minute period which proved crucial in securing a famous win.

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“Richie Mo’unga was the guy for me, who steered the ship around and got us in the right areas of the field,” Read told The Run Home hosts Kirstie Stanway & Stephen Donald.

“The way the Springboks selected their team, I think the fact that we made them go to their bench early really helped us down that back end.

“They want Marx to come on and only play 40 minutes and Kitshoff, a few of their other big players, even Vermeulen could only go 30 minutes.

“It was a testament to our start, which hadn’t been at our best all year. Guys put them under pressure and I think it paid dividends in the back end.”


The All Blacks were able to play an up tempo game which got South Africa out of their comfort zone, unable to rest at stoppages as often as they like.

On stopping the Boks game, Read described it as a ‘brutal’ type of game but that they are a bit of a ‘one trick pony’.

“Even on the weekend where we played pretty well, there was periods of play where they were able to get a bit of a roll on,” he said.

“They could score points on us and put us under a lot of pressure.


“They are, in some cases you could say a one-trick pony in the way they play. It’s just a brutal game plan from them.

“It’s so brilliant, you know? Mapimpi chasing high balls, it’s not 50-50 when he’s chasing it. He’s catching everything.

“And they’ve got their maul. So you’ve got to give kudos to our forward pack for scrumming well and stopping the maul basically over the whole series.

“Stop them winning penalties to then kick to the corner and have another shot.”


The promotion of Crusaders forward coach Jason Ryan seemed to have an immediate impact with the All Black scrum improving over the two tests while the maul defence become almost impenetrable overnight.

After conceding multiple maul tries to the Ireland pack, the Springboks were unable to score any over the two test series as scrum & maul penalties dried up.

On what kind of impact Ryan has had, the former Crusaders great said his former coach would have helped align the pack more and used his existing relationships to change a few things.

“I think it’s hard to see too much detail … and maybe the attitude was the biggest one he could shift over in South Africa,” Read said.

“Just getting the guys more aligned I think could help.

“Jase is a smart man, and he would’ve seen a few things that he could’ve just provided up to a few guys, individually.

“I think the way he’s got his senior players in that forward pack stepping up.

“I guess he can lean on a few Crusaders; Sam Whitelock I’m sure would’ve had a big impact in there, echoing a bit of what Jase has been saying.

“And then Scott Barrett, I thought, had one of his best games in the lock jersey as well, he was brilliant and went all 80 minutes.

“So, he deserves a bit of credit there, old Jase.”


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