Coetzee: ‘Habana’s experience vital’

Date published: November 18 2016

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee believes Bryan Habana’s experience will be vital when facing Italy on Saturday.

South Africa faces the Azzurri in Florence and South Africa will be desperate to get a win after some less than favourable results. And the Springbok boss believes Habana has the experience to help grind out the win against Italy.

“He understands what it takes, he’s a true professional and hopefully he can aid with the game management this week,” Coetzee told News24.

“This is not a Test where you will see festival rugby, or think you’re just going to open up and score tries. It’s going to be a proper Test match.

“With his experience, we will have to build an innings this weekend. There will be a lot of kicking from the Italians, but we can’t just start running from far out. No, we treat this game as one massive Test.”

Habana said the game game holds a lot of gravity for South Africa given their 2016 record and they will have to put in a much better performance than they did against England.

“I’ve played against Italy twice at home and not only do they get fired up before the game, they bring intensity into the game too,” Habana said.

“We understand this is the biggest game of our season, given the year we’ve had. We have to show improvement in all areas on Saturday. We have a lot of respect for them. We have to play rugby for 80 minutes.”