Carter vs Steyn

Two giants of the game – one a Springbok, and one an All Black – have the skill and the power to influence Saturday's semi-final in Christchurch, writes JON CARDINELLI.

The semi-final in New Zealand will be akin to a Test match. Both sets of forwards will look for set-piece and gainline ascendancy. Both sets of halfbacks will be expected to use this platform to make the necessary territorial gains.

The respective No 12s also have an important role to play in the drive for field position. Dan Carter has struggled with his goal-kicking since returning, but his line-kicking has been absolutely superb. Even at No 12, Carter offers the Crusaders an outstanding tactical-kicking option.

Frans Steyn has played a lot of rugby at No 10 this season, but will shift one position out with the return of Pat Lambie. Like Carter, Steyn will still have a job to do as far as kicking is concerned.

His goal-kicking is up there with the best in the tournament. In last week's clash against the Highlanders, Steyn's booming kicks from hand allowed the Sharks to gain a lot of ground.

Steyn will have his hands full on defence. The Crusaders possess a potent backline, and Steyn will have to be at his physical best if he's going to repel Carter, Colin Slade, and even the hulking form of Nemani Nadolo.

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Hannah Peters/Getty Images

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Jon Cardinelli