White looks to build on momentum
July 18, 2004

Jake White has mapped out his vision for the Springboks after watching his side keep up their 100% record this season in Saturday's game against the Pacific Islanders.

The South African coach can now turn his attention to keeping that record intact when they face in New Zealand in their first Tri Nations game of the season in Christchurch.

"The most important thing was to win, we haven't won away from home (in the Tri Nations) since 1998 so we want to keep the momentum of our winning," White said after the Gosford triumph. "We've won four in a row now, and you can't ask for much more heading into the Tri Nations when you're going to New Zealand," he said.

Despite leading 23-0 at the break the South Africans only ran out 38-24 winners over the Islanders - but White was not unduly concerned by their less than perfect second half performance.
"I put it down to the exuberance of youth, it's a very young team, I think that they thought that at 33-0 they could get a bit fancy and start playing for the crowd and winning a couple of the cheers and they basically played into the hands of the Islanders," White said.
"I've been fortunate enough to have coached a lot of these guys at colts level and I've known some of them from schoolboy level, so I think the balance is almost right now.

"There's still one or two guys coming back from injury, and once we get the best 22 together there's no reason why they can't be a force in world rugby. That's one goal our team has and that is to get back to being a dominating rugby nation in the world as we were in the past."

White was delighted with the devastating effectiveness of the Springbok forwards against the Islanders' pack.
"Our scrum is one area that we definitely enjoy doing, the lineouts were quite good and a couple of players have joined the squad and added a bit of value to the makeup of the team," he said.

He indicated that he will probably keep the same lineup for the All Blacks Test - but may find a place for Joe van Niekirk, who is returning from injury. "I have to have a look at Joe van Niekirk who's just come back, but the makeup of the team is going to be basically the same," White said.
"I'm not saying I'll be looking at Joe actually starting, but I would look at Joe somewhere in the team and the makeup of how we want to play. Another thing which will have a huge influence on which team I pick is what the weather's going to be like in Christchurch next week.

"I'm quite keen to see if New Zealand are going to make any changes, I know that Richie McCaw is back next week and they didn't play Keith Robinson at lock, I'm sure they will bring those guys back into the mould."

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