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Published: 09:39 | 21/6/16

Coetzee expects tough battle


South Africa head coach Allister Coetzee expects a 'hell of a battle' when the Springboks and Ireland meet in Saturday's third and Final Test at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Coetzee came in for some sharp criticism when he lost his first game in charge since replacing Heyneke Meyer in the first Test and a second successive defeat looked to be on the cards as the Springboks trailed 26-10 during Saturday's second Test at Ellis Park.

A brilliant comeback, however, saw the hosts record a 32-26 win to level the series and set-up a thrilling finish to Ireland's tour.

Coetzee believes the Springboks must deal with Ireland's kicking game to have any chance of claiming the series win and has called on Jose Schmidt's side to to “have a go” at his team.

"Look, the Irish have seen that they got a lot of reward from their kicking game and I think they will continue with that," Coetzee said.

"For us, it's a matter of handling that and making them play, make them have a go at us.

"It's tough in Test match rugby, sometimes without the ball you're a bit safer. You don't make the mistakes and you wait for the opposition to make mistakes, but I think they'll come out. It's a chance to give it a shot.

"They're a side that can attack and hold on to the ball and I expect the Irish to come firing in all departments: ball in hand, kicking game, solid defence. They will definitely look at improving and stopping our momentum. It's going to be a hell of a battle."

Four second half tries swung the second Test in their favour and Coetzee believes the momentum is with his teat ahead of this weekend.

"We really managed it really well. We put pressure on their set-piece, we turned it over and we strung a good couple of phases together by putting pressure on with ball in hand. This is how I see the game, there is not just one way of applying pressure on a team," he is quoted as saying in the Irish Examiner.

“If it’s not through your attack, it’s through your defence or through your kicking game. That last 20 minutes for us was a bit of everything. It was a complete, good display of all of the aspects of the game being put together. Rugby will always be a gain-line battle.

“That is the message, it’s as simple as that. It’s a momentum based game, it’s a gain-line game and that’s the battle that we have to win.”

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