Cape Town - Former national coach Nick Mallett has called on the Springboks to step up and "smash Italy" in Fukuroi City on Friday.
Mallett was commenting in the SuperSport studio after South Africa's 57-3 World Cup win over Namibia at the weekend.
He called the Springboks' performance "really solid" but was disappointed with the closing quarter.
"The Springboks were up 50 points to three and amongst us we were saying from here New Zealand would probably score three or four tries in the last 20 minutes. We only managed one in the last 20. I think that would be a bit of a disappointment. I know there were a number of replacements coming on but Namibia had a yellow card and we still only scored one try against them. I think a lot of that was down to pushing passes, inaccurate passes and perhaps not being direct enough," Mallett said.
Mallett said Namibia should be proud of their efforts in the final 20 minutes.
"Their tackling in general play was brave. There is no doubt in the last 20 minutes, they were not rolling away in the tackle, they were slowing it down as much as possible which made it difficult for us. They struggled enormously in the set-piece and we knew they would not be good in that area. But in the general play they managed to hold our attack quite well, particularly in that last 20.
"I thought the co-ordination between (Cobus) Reinach and Elton (Jantjies) in the last 20 minutes wasn't good. We saw Elton miss a penalty for touch, we saw a dropped pass when he received a decent pass into his hands. We saw a couple of balls lost in contact. So the drivers, our nine and 10, in the last 20 minutes didn't control the game well and I think that is one of the reasons we didn't put another 15 points on the board."
Looking ahead to the Italy match, Mallett said:
"The most important thing is that we need to go in a little bit nervous that you are going to let your country down if you don't perform. If we go in thinking we are going to be comfortable winners, we tend to be 20% off the pace. Not only must we be well prepared technically, but we have to have fire in the belly and must smash them. We have really got to smash them properly and give them a hiding up front and be very physical, far more than we were today. If we don’t have that attitude, we could be in trouble."
Friday's clash at the Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa is scheduled for 11:45 (SA time), with the Springbok team to be named on Tuesday.