Flyhalf battle could be decisive

JOHN MITCHELL, writing on the Vodacom Rugby Portal, looks at the key match-ups in the World Cup semi-final between the Springboks and All Blacks on Saturday.

There are several fascinating individual match-ups to look forward to in the 91st Test between South Africa and New Zealand, which will play out in front of 82,000 people at Twickenham on Saturday.

All Blacks hooker Dane Coles has experienced a quiet campaign by his own high standards. He has played 55 minutes more than Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis, but has made eight fewer carries, 22 fewer running metres and has beaten four fewer defenders. However, Coles has made 13 more tackles than Du Plessis and as many turnovers (four) as him. The All Black No2 has not yet conceded a penalty during the competition, while Du Plessis has been penalised on five occasions.

Read the rest of Mitchell's column

Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

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