Boks smell victory ahead of All Blacks match

  • File: The Springboks take on long-standing rivals the All Blacks in what’s arguably South Africa’s biggest match of the tournament. Photo: EPA/NIC BOTHMA
LONDON – It’s semi-final time in the Rugby World Cup and South Africa take on long-standing rivals New Zealand in what’s arguably the Springboks’ biggest match of the tournament so far.

A win at Twickenham on Saturday would secure the Boks a place in the final, but the team know they will need to take every opportunity presented to them in what’s likely to be a close game.

Under the watchful eye of the media, the Springboks take to the pitch for some last-minute preparations ahead of their semi-final clash with the All Blacks.

Alongside the physical ground work, the team have also been mentally gearing up for the match, but they’ve been looking forward to the game.

“(It’s) a massive massive game obviously – probably the biggest game of my life and Schalk’s (Burger, Springbok flanker) life, and we’ve been around quite a bit – so obviously the pressure is still on. It’s not good enough just being in the semi-finals so obviously we’re going to go all-out to get into that final,” said Springbok captain Fourie du Preez.

Current Rugby World Cup title holders New Zealand have been favourites to win the tournament from the start.

Even Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has said they are one of the best test teams ever.

But the Boks have a good track record against the All Blacks in past Rugby World Cups – in the three times they’ve faced each other in the World Cup, the Springboks have won twice.

“I think what’s quite remarkable is that we all respect each other, we’re all friends, we play against each other so, so much, … hopefully the weather will hold up and we an put on a good spectacle. Obviously we want to win, that’s why we’re here. We want to beat the All Blacks but at the end of the day they’re such a quality outfit that it’s not going to be easy,” said Burger.

No changes have been made to the starting line-up that played against Wales in the quarter-final, indicating that Meyer believes he’s struck upon the right combination.

- eNCA

Category : SPORTS.
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