THE first of this weekend’s Rugby World Cup semi-finals will be played in Twickenham at 4pm on Saturday as South Africa and New Zealand look for a place in the final.
Richie McCaw will lead the All Blacks out and win his 147th cap for his country. New Zealand come into the game after a wondrous rugby display against France in the last match and South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has publicly praised his opponents leading up to the contest.
Meyer called the All Blacks “the best team that ever played the game” and New Zealand Steve Hansen has ruled out any dangers of complacency in his reply, “He’s a cunning wee devil, Heyneke, he has been praising us all week (and) while I know he means some of it, they’re getting ready to rip our heads off.”
“Externally everybody has got a little carried away and made some outrageous statements. If we go lapping up all the praise we won’t be in the right mental state to play,” he added.
Twickenham’s second semi-final on Sunday at 4pm sees Argentina taking on Australia. The Pumas have been playing exciting and dangerous rugby and Australia will not be underestimating the challenge.
Key man and playmaker for Australia Matt Giteau said, “They’re incredibly dangerous. You saw what they did to Ireland and how far they pushed New Zealand in the first game. They’ve blown teams away quite easily. We won’t underestimate them. They are playing with a lot of confidence at the moment. They are a very physical team, they are very passionate, but they also like to throw the ball around. They’re not just good up front, they’re good everywhere.”
Although the northern hemisphere doesn’t have any teams coming out of the tunnels this weekend rugby fans across the world will be watching every moment.