The All Blacks will double or quit on day two of the Championship

The All Blacks will double or quit on day two of the Championship

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Johannesburg (AFP) – The All Blacks and their coach Ian Foster will play big against South Africa, who beat the South African side 26-10 on Saturday’s second day of the Rugby Championship, while the Australians will look to confirm against the Argentine Pumas.

Another loss to the All Blacks on Saturday (the match kicks off at 5:05pm French time) is likely to seal the fate of Foster, described by the New Zealand Herald as “an honest man lost in a cruel universe”.

A 6th defeat in 7 Test matches and a second successive defeat against the Springboks will not excuse him a year from the Rugby World Cup in France.

In the first match in Mbombela last Saturday, South Africa’s dominance was another embarrassment for a New Zealand team that until recently was considered invincible, suffering their heaviest defeat in South Africa since 1928.

Foster and captain Sam Kane will not tolerate further humiliation. The 57-year-old Foster, who took charge of the All Blacks in 2019 after being eliminated in the semi-final against England at the last World Cup, has already lost nine of his 26 internationals.

Saturday’s clash between the Springboks and the All Blacks at Ellis Park is his last chance, unless his fate has already been decided.

New Zealand fell to fifth in the world rankings behind Ireland, France, South Africa and England, with New Zealand Herald Sport branding Foster “among the worst All Blacks coaches in history”.

Dear Wallabies

The New Zealand manager made four changes after last Saturday’s loss, replacing fly-half Beauden Barrett with Richie Mounga and bringing in Ethan de Groot and Tyrell Lomax as mainstays to counter the South Pac’s strength. Third-row wing Shannon Frizzell, who scored New Zealand’s only try after coming on mid-game on August 6, will play from kick-off this time.

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South African coach Jacques Nienaber made five changes to his winning side, most notably relegating man of the match Malcolm Marx to the substitutes’ bench.

In Saturday’s other game (9:10pm French time), the Wallabies start as favorites after a big 41-26 win in Mendoza last week. The Pumas lost all of their Championship matches last year and have not beaten Australia since 2018.

But they remain dangerous, as their 9-point halftime lead last Saturday showed. Their coach Michael Cheka knows the Aussies well from coaching, but admits the Pumas need to improve, particularly their forward line, if they are to hope to win in San Juan on Saturday.

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Both teams made four changes each after the first match. Australia coach Dave Rennie has opted to keep James O’Connor in his first Test of the year after Quade Cooper ruptured his Achilles tendon last week.

. The program of matches for the second day of the Rugby Championship on Saturday:

– In Johannesburg (3:05 pm GMT/5:05 pm French time):

South Africa/New Zealand

– in San Juan (Argentina) (7:10 pm GMT/9:10 pm French time)

Argentina/Australia

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