Skinstad: Boks must 'out-smash' All Blacks

Bob Skinstad (Gallo Images)
Bob Skinstad (Gallo Images)

London - The only way the Springboks can beat New Zealand in their Rugby World Cup semi-final is by "out-smashing" the champions, according to former South Africa captain Bob Skinstad.

READ: Boks v All Blacks - 19 stats and facts

READ: Springboks' Test record against the All Blacks

READ: No more ifs and buts... this is it!

The arch-rivals stage their latest showdown at Twickenham on Saturday in what is sure to be a bruising encounter.

South Africa have reverted to their traditional forward-based game since the shock of losing their tournament opener to Japan and edged past Wales 23-29 in their quarter-final.

New Zealand, by contrast, have rarely been tested and thrashed France 62-13 in the last eight.

"Out-smashing the All Blacks is the only way we can beat the All Blacks. We can't out-run them," said Skinstad, who won 42 caps before retiring after the 2007 World Cup.

"The only way we can win is traditional powerhouse South African rugby and the players will not need to be psyched up for that, they will be really excited about this game.

"They'll love the clash and will want to smash into the All Blacks. More than anything, they'll just be pleased to have a chance to do that.

"We have to go really hard in the forwards for a long time before we can look to go wide. The All Blacks will go wide earlier than us.

"It's going to be a massive clash. If The Springboks are on song they'll be in with a shout.

"South Africa will be thinking 'we've pushed the All Blacks close before, so let's prepare for fire and brimstone. Let's take them on and march on to the goal'," said Skinstad.

"We play them twice a year so they won't be able to outfox the Springboks as easily as they did the French, but they're still a powerful team."

South Africa's Schalk Burger was named man-of-the-match against Wales and the openside flanker has posted an impressive set of tournament statistics.

Burger currently has the most runs at this World Cup with 80, is second in gainline crosses with 35 and third equal in the tackle count with 55.

But former back-row forward Skinstad questioned whether it was wise for South Africa to keep using Burger as the initial ball-carrier.

"I know Schalk and I love Schalk. He's a fantastic player but for me he's standing at first receiver too much," Skinstad said.

"You can't begrudge him the number of contributions he's made, but it's about the quality of those contributions.

"Did he off-load (pass) to somebody who ran through a gap? Did he lose the ball on the ground?

"He's playing well but against New Zealand he needs to carry less and tackle more. He needs to do the hard yards, clean out more.


South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez (captain), 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Victor Matfield, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein

New Zealand:

15 Ben Smith, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Sonny Bill Williams

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