Wales must be as clinical as NZ to beat Boks – Rob Howley
WALES have to be as clinical as New Zealand if they are to topple the mighty Springboks at the Millennium Stadium next month, according to Rob Howley.
The Boks are one of the world’s fastest improving international teams and they gave the All Blacks a huge scare in Johannesburg last weekend.
New Zealand won a superb 38-27 encounter to retain the Rugby Championship but Heyneke Meyer’s men made them fight tooth and nail for victory.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland's right hand man Howley was in Ellis Park to watch one of the modern game’s finest showdowns, right in the balance until very near the breathtaking end.
"It was a fantastic, epic battle between the top two southern hemisphere sides,” said Howley, who steered Wales to the Six Nations title this year while Gatland was on duty in his role as British and Irish head coach.
"To go over and have that insight was really important for our preparation as we haven't played them in a couple of years.
"It was a really informative trip, not only watching the game itself but researching potential accommodation and training venues for our tour to South Africa next summer as well as catching up with the Springboks and All Blacks management teams.
"This autumn we play South Africa first up and there is no doubt that it is going to be a huge physical battle.
“The intensity of Saturday's game showed that, especially with the amount of time the ball was in play.
"Nine tries were scored, and New Zealand came back really impressively in the second-half. They managed to negate South Africa's driving line-out and that gave them the platform they were looking for.”
Howley, who was one of Gatland’s trusted assistants during the Lions’ 2-1 series victory in Australia, added: "It was interesting to see how both sides managed the kicking game and the aerial battle.
“Being live at the game, it is not all about watching the ball but watching what players are doing off it as well and how they counter attack, so it was really useful.
"One thing you have to do against South Africa is create opportunities but then you have to be clinical as well and that is exactly what the All Blacks did and that is what we will have to do as well.
"I have been really impressed with their form this season and we know we are facing one of the in-form teams in world rugby on November 9.”
Wales have only ever defeated South Africa once in their history when the Boks were beaten 29-19 in 1999, the first ever game at the Millennium Stadium.
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