Ross Roche
Senior sports writer
2 minute read
6 Aug 2022
12:23 pm

WATCH: Scott Barrett says All Blacks keen to spoil Bok Malcolm Marx’s 50th Test

Ross Roche

The All Blacks will be up against a number of familiar faces on Saturday, but also a few new men in the Bok side.

All Blacks lock Scott Barrett. Picture: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

All Black lock Scott Barrett knows exactly how dangerous the Springboks can be, and although there are a few new faces in the New Zealand squad, they are well aware of the challenge that awaits them at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 5:05pm).

Both teams will be gunning to get their Rugby Championship campaigns off to the best possible start, particularly the All Blacks who head into the game on a poor run of form having lost four of their last five games.

However, they know who the usual suspects are and will be prepared for them come kick-off on Saturday.

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“There are a few new players that we haven’t played against, but the tight five we have played against over the last couple of years,” said Barrett ahead of the Test.

“Eben Ezebeth, Lood de Jager are familiar opponents (in the second row), and are some of the best in the world, if not the best. So it’s an awesome opportunity to play against those guys.

“Malcolm Marx has also been an impressive player, whether playing off the bench or starting the game. He is big, physical and when he gets on the back of the maul close to the line he is pretty dangerous. So hopefully we can make it a less memorable night for him on his 50th.”

Different challenge

Asked whether the All Blacks take confidence from the fact that the Boks haven’t beaten them in South Africa since 2014 and if they can take that into the match, Barrett admitted that it was a different challenge now.

“That is a long time ago if we are going to be honest (since they last played in SA in 2018). The Springboks since then have won a World Cup, won a Lions tour and been playing some dominant rugby,” said Barrett.

“Springbok rugby is physical and has a strong set piece. So I think we can take a bit of experience and confidence from those (previous) games. But Saturday is a new game and it’s going to be a new challenge.”