Rugby World Cup 2011
Habana braced for onslaught
Bryan Habana (File)
Auckland - Bryan Habana rates his only Test against Samoa as pretty special but also one of the toughest physical beltings he has experienced with the Springboks.
The former IRB player of the year scored four tries in the Springboks' 59-7 win over Samoa in the pool stage in Paris on the way to lifting the 2007 World Cup.
Left-winger Habana, 28, became the Springboks' all-time greatest try-scorer at this tournament with his 39th try in his 72nd international, and knows the defending champions are in for another physical test against Samoa on Friday.
"It was pretty special, it is also unique scoring four tries for your country," Habana told a press conference in Auckland on Thursday.
"But in that first 20 minutes I wasn't really interested in taking any collisions after seeing their number eight (Henry Tuilagi) running into Danie (Rossouw) and Schalk (Burger).
"That first 20 minutes against Samoa in 2007 was some of the toughest Test match rugby I've ever played, it is pretty tough.
"I reckon tomorrow it will be no different. The structure that Samoa have come into with a lot of their players playing in European leagues has seen them become a much-improved side than what they were in 2007.
"They are going to lay down a big challenge for us, not only physically, but in their structure.
"So we have to make sure we are playing our best rugby if we're going to have any chance of success."
Habana, who equalled Jonah Lomu's tournament record of eight tries at the last World Cup, said although the All Blacks are the team to beat, the Springboks believe they can win back-to-back Webb Ellis Cups.
"There is a belief within the team that we can definitely go and win this World Cup," Habana said.
"The outside influences are not really important but the pressure we put on ourselves as a team and as individuals to perform.
"The All Blacks have definitely laid down a marker over the last couple of weeks and the rest of the world is following them at the moment."