Justin Marshall is a former All Blacks halfback and current columnist for the New Zealand Herald

Justin Marshall: What will South Africa offer?

After last weekend's fascinating test against the Pumas, I am looking forward to watching the development of the All Blacks' game plan against the Springboks tonight.

Last week was of particular interest because they managed to get wing Julian Savea into the game more, and not just as a battering ram - a key for me, as I have written about before.

They achieved that through clever innovations, particular around their scrum. Israel Dagg gets involved anyway through his game sense, but it's important to design strike moves around Savea. They did and he delivered.

The All Black scrum has pretty much been the most dominant in the game for the past decade, but it was interesting to see that they found themselves under pressure in the lineout. That hasn't happened for a while. At the World Cup they were operating at a success rate of more than 90 per cent in this area, so they have been able to launch a lot off that.

With Sam Cane out I wonder whether that changes how they use their loose forwards at AMI Stadium tonight. What I've noticed in particular is how they are using Kieran Read a lot tighter these days. Jerome Kaino is staying in his channel near the breakdown where he is so destructive, and, rather than Read holding his width near the sideline, he is a lot closer to the action. They're inclined to use Dane Coles and even Codie Taylor in that wide channel where Read used to be.

I think they need to get back to that because it's a real strength of his. He is such a good offloader and can bring in two defenders while setting the outside backs free.

Ardie Savea gets his hands on the ball a lot but doesn't really operate in that outside channel. He is very explosive around the ruck and can beat defenders there. Is this a chance to free up Read again? I hope so.

What will South Africa offer? They are a big, physical pack and probably would have been encouraged by watching the Pumas get in behind the All Blacks at Waikato Stadium. It's probably an opportunity but the All Blacks would have seen their vulnerability and will probably be much better in that area.

If the Boks are going to take anything out of last week, it's that the All Blacks can have their line broken when they run out of defenders or have defenders on the ground. That didn't happen against Australia when they consistently had 13 or 14 players on their feet.

Can the Boks emulate the Pumas, but for the whole game?

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