Rampant All Blacks prepare to roll out big guns against Springboks in Townsville

Ian Foster's scheme to sink the Springboks in Townsville looks better by the hour.Ian Foster's scheme to sink the Springboks in Townsville looks better by the hour.

With his decision to omit key players from Saturday night's match against Argentina justified by the 36-13 win in Brisbane, All Blacks coach Foster's next job is to plot ways to make the Springboks' stay in Australia even more miserable.

Consecutive defeats to the Wallabies, a team that lost three straight to the All Blacks, has effectively destroyed the Springboks' hopes of winning the Rugby Championship and the memories of their recent 2-1 series win over the British and Irish Lions in South Africa have been clouded by a horrible form slump that hasn't been helped by a one-dimensional game plan.

Yet, despite the Springboks' spectacular fall from grace, and the All Blacks' running hot ahead of the 100th test between the two countries at Queensland Country Bank Stadium next Saturday night, Foster will have reason to be cautious.

Even though the All Blacks have regained the No 1 world ranking for the first time in almost two years, and have a near-unassailable lead on the championship table with two games to play, they won't want to botch their first test against the Springboks since they won the World Cup in Japan in 2019.

Foster will know what to expect from the Springboks: a determination to strangle the All Blacks with their set pieces, repeat sets of kicking and potential confrontations in the air.

The Wallabies' speed and athleticism proved too much for the Springboks in the curtain-raiser to the All Blacks' game, with the hosts deserved 30-17 victors.

"It was probably the first time the South Africans had played against a team with a lot of tempo, in the last two years,'' Foster said.

"We have got to remember they have been out in a bit of a wilderness last year, and I think they will learn a lot from that.''