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Springboks will rely on their set-piece against the All Blacks

Sam Whitelock of New Zealand and Scott Barrett of New Zealand during the New Zealand All Blacks v South Africa Springboks rugby tests, 2022.
All Blacks vs Springboks 2022 Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Springboks are braced for the "ultimate test" and will focus on establishing set-piece dominance to create opportunities for their dazzling backs when they face the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship in Auckland on Saturday.

Loose forward Kwagga Smith said he expects a home side high on confidence following their 41-12 win in Argentina last weekend.

"It's going to be an epic match, both teams had a good performance last weekend. It's going to be a high-tempo game and nice rugby to watch," said Smith, one of 10 changes to a Springboks team that had an equally dominant 43-12 victory at home against Australia.

Sam Whitelock of New Zealand and Kwagga Smithv of South Africa during the New Zealand All Blacks v South Africa Springboks test 2022.
All Blacks vs Springboks 2022 Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"I think it is (the biggest rivalry in world rugby). For me it is the ultimate test. The history behind it is really big, it's an iconic game. I love playing the All Blacks because it brings out the best in you," he said.

"Any close game will be about discipline," Smith says. "Set-piece can create those opportunities, but these days the game is so quick, it is also about how you deny the opposition opportunities too.

"They (New Zealand) are such a good team, I wouldn't say they have any weaknesses. You have to be on your game and make sure you don't get disrupted by them, you have to stick to your guns and play the way you know."

Centre Lukhanyo Am is one of five players retained from the Wallabies win as coach Jacques Nienaber stuck to the plan of essentially fielding different teams in the opening two games of the competition.

He also feels the set-piece will be crucial as both sides contain game-breakers among the backs.

"This weekend is a different challenge compared to the Australians," Am said. "We have to focus on our set-piece work and the forwards creating opportunities for us as backs."

He is also looking forward to the pace of the game after playing in the United Rugby Championship.

"In the north (hemisphere) it is more technical, aerial and territorial, while in Super Rugby it is much faster, the ball does the work and gets moved around a lot more."