All Blacks: Whitelock out to contain Springboks' set-piece

By Anton Crump

Whitelock will call on all of his 44 tests worth of experience when taking on Eben Etzebeth and Flip van der Merwe. Photo / Getty Images
Whitelock will call on all of his 44 tests worth of experience when taking on Eben Etzebeth and Flip van der Merwe. Photo / Getty Images

The responsibilities of controlling a raging South African set-piece will fall on All Black lock Sam Whitelock's shoulders.

Whitelock said the All Blacks can't let the Boks dominate the set-piece as they did against Australia.

"The set-piece focus for them is huge. If we can nullify that you go a long way towards taking the physicality out of their game."

Whitelock will call on all of his 44 tests worth of experience when taking on Eben Etzebeth and Flip van der Merwe, who were all over the Australians in Brisbane and will likely be selected when the Springboks name their team today.

Despite having only 38 test caps between them, the Bok locking combination was impressive.

"We need to adapt to any pressure they put on our lineout," Whitelock said.

"We've been working hard on our processes and getting that structure [in the lineout] dead right.

"This year they've started to maul a bit more so we've got to be ready to nullify it."

South Africa will also target the All Blacks at the scrum, which, under the new laws, has a slightly different emphasis than in the past.

"The dominant scrum normally comes out on top with these new rules," Whitelock said.

- NZ Herald

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