PERTH, Australia (AFP) – The Springboks will need a monumental effort to down the All Blacks, but coach Heyneke Meyer believes South Africa can win for the first time in New Zealand in five years.
South Africa face to the world champions in Wellington next Saturday trailing by three points on the Rugby Championship standings after a last-gasp 24-23 loss to the Wallabies in Perth on Saturday.
It was the Springboks’ first defeat in this year’s four-nation tournament after winning back-to-back against Argentina, but they face their supreme test away to the All Blacks.
South Africa’s last success in New Zealand was a 32-29 win in Hamilton in 2009 and they have lost all five of their matches against the All Blacks at Wellington’s Westpac Trust Stadium.
“While it’s very disappointing to lose to the Wallabies we now need to set our sights on our next match, which is our third away from home on the trot, and rectify matters against New Zealand in Wellington,” Meyer told reporters on Sunday.
“It will take a monumental effort and we’ve got a lot of respect for New Zealand, but I believe we can beat them there.”
New Zealand are unchallenged as the top-ranked side in world rugby ahead of the Wallabies and South Africa, and an upset win for the Springboks would throw the Rugby Championship wide open ahead of their return match in Johannesburg on October 4.
Meyer and skipper Jean de Villiers refused to be drawn on the issue of Bryan Habana’s yellow card for a controversial high tackle on Wallaby Adam Ashley-Cooper that swung the match 15 minutes from time with the Springboks leading 23-14.
“What happened is done and it can’t be changed,” Meyer told reporters.
“I think you know the answer and I know the answer, so I’m not going to answer. The ref is always right.