boks in for a tight contest

HAVING settled in their Auckland base for the next few days, the Springboks will now turn their attention to Saturday's game against the All Blacks at Eden Park.

HAVING settled in their Auckland base for the next few days, the Springboks will now turn their attention to Saturday's game against the All Blacks at Eden Park.

Leaving South Africa in two groups at the weekend, the squad is scheduled to rest today before the final preparations ahead of the start of the 2010 Tri-Nations. There is a distinct possibility that a Springbok side playing very good rugby will lift the trophy for the second year running. But coach Peter de Villiers is expecting the match to be closely fought.

"It is going to be very tight, as it usually is," De Villiers said. "The rivalry between the teams is such that there is seldom much to choose between them.

"We would like to build on our recent successes on New Zealand soil. It won't be easy but we will give it our best."

Whereas last year the Boks played their first three matches at home, this year they play them away. The Springboks go into the match with four wins from four games so far this season. Wales, France and Italy (two Tests) were all easily accounted for and the All Blacks have had an equally impressive start to the season with wins over Wales and Ireland.

The intensity at kickoff on Saturday will be a step up for both sides and each match will be treated as a separate challenge by Bok captain John Smit.

"History has taught us that you cannot get ahead of yourself in the Tri-Nations. Last season we won our first four matches but still had to beat New Zealand in our final match to be certain of the title. We will take each game at a time," Smit said.

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