Former All Blacks scrumhalf Justin Marshall says New Zealand’s B-team is good enough to beat the Springboks – and any top-four side.
Marshall was impressed by the way Steve Hansen’s replacements put the hammer down against Argentina last week.
After struggling to boss the game against the Pumas in the first half, Hansen rang the changes.
The 2015 World Cup-winning coach sent on TJ Perenara and Charlie Faumuina on in the 49th minute, with the side trailing before running out 57-22.
And Marshall says it’s that depth that makes the All Blacks look invincible.
The 81-cap All Black, writing in his New Zealand Herald column, says: “Those subs were made earlier than usual.
“You must be brave to replace Aaron Smith, someone British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland recently described as New Zealand’s best and most influential player.
“It just shows how much trust and belief the coaches have in their players. Those decisions changed the game.”
“Everyone talks about the impact of the bench. I think it was a combination between the bench and the players in the starting XV like Ryan Crotty, Brodie Retallick, Ben Smith, Julian Savea, Israel Dagg and Same Cane, who were all outstanding. Jerome Kaino was also excellent.
“It just underlines the depth in the team. New Zealand’s B-team would probably be able to beat the top four teams in the world.”