Bryan Habana (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Bryan Habana is under no illusions when it comes to the enormity of the task facing the Springboks in this weekend's World Cup semi-final against the All Blacks.
The wing, who along with New Zealand great Jonah Lomu has scored more World Cup tries than any other player, says the Boks will have to play out of their socks at Twickenham on Saturday if they are to advance to their third ever World Cup final.
"Everyone knows that this New Zealand team has been number one in the world for the last four years. They’ve been playing some fantastic rugby and the performance they put in last week Saturday was really special against the French," Habana said on Tuesday.
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"To beat the number one side in the world you have to be better than your best in every facet of play. Your discipline has to be unbelievably good, your defence has to be as sound as ever before, your physicality and intensity have to go about 10 notches up and you know you’re going to be in for a massive 85 to 90 minute game."
Motivation in this World Cup has not been a problem since they were stunned by the Japanese in their opening match.
And, says Habana, motivation has never been a problem against the All Blacks.
"Playing against the All Blacks, whenever you do, it automatically lifts that intensity 10-fold," said South Africa's all-time leading try scorer.
"Being the number one side in the world, being the successful team that they have been over the last two decades … your level of wanting to prove yourself against the best in the world definitely increases.
"That intensity, that physicality … that cauldron that you get put into tends to bring out the best in you. The challenge that lies ahead now is that we’ve been playing knockout rugby for the last six weeks, but we’re going to have to improve in every aspect of the game."
Habana will become the most decorated try scorer in the history of the tournament if he crosses the whitewash against the All Blacks.
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:00.