Kaino wary of injured Springboks
July 25, 2011
Jerome Kaino in action for the Blues © Getty Images
All Blacks loose forward Jerome Kaino is wary of South Africa ahead of their Tri-Nations test on Saturday, after the Springboks went down 39-20 to the Wallabies last weekend.
New Zealand, meanwhile, will have their tails up following their 60-14 thumping of Fiji in Dunedin last Friday.
While the Springboks have an extensive injury list, which includes Victor Matfield, Bakkies Botha, Schalk Burger, Bryan Habana and now Flip van der Merwe, Kaino believes the world champions are still a force to be reckoned with.
"I think they showed towards the end, when they get their game going how dangerous they are. I don't think we're going to read too much into the scoreboard.
"They definitely have a lot of threats in their team.
"They've got a lot of players that can create things from nothing, like their wingers. Some of the forwards that they brought off the bench [Ryan] Kankowski and Jean Deysel those players are X-factor players.
"People don't rate the players that they've picked to travel over here, but in my mind I still see a lot of them as threats and see that team as a good team," Kaino said.
His thoughts were echoed by All Blacks halfback Jimmy Cowan, who said while they lacked some big names in their squad they still packed a punch.
"I've played a lot of rugby with them in the Super 15 and there's a core group of guys who are pretty experienced, John Smith and Ruaan Pienaar, and those guys you can't underestimate them at all," he said.
"It's always tough travelling so I imagine they'll get a lot out of last night's game and they'll be humming this week," Cowan said.
The All Blacks rested five Crusaders plus Blues hooker Keven Mealamu for the one-off test against Fiji, but are expected to have close to a full complement of players to pick from for the Springboks clash.
Hosea Gear and utility Richard Kahui are due to be available after recovering from hamstring strains, while fullback Cory Jane's dislocated finger may be ready by Saturday.
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