All Blacks demand slickness against Boks

The All Blacks are demanding their standards are maintained for a mouth-watering Rugby World Cup semi-final against South Africa.

The two great rivals meet at Twickenham on Saturday next week following contrasting quarter-finals.

The All Blacks overwhelmed France 62-13 in an attacking masterclass in Cardiff while South Africa needed a late try to captain Fourie du Preez to quell Wales 23-19 in a bruising affair in London.

Despite having won 10 of their last 12 Tests against the Springboks, the All Blacks are wary of the physical threat posed.

Lock Brodie Retallick, who scored the first of New Zealand’s nine tries on Saturday, says they have set the bar high and must aim to at least match it for the remainder of the tournament.

“We’ve put a line in the sand so as a team we’ll have to make sure we get back there each week, if not better,” he said.

“That’ll be the challenge, to get it right again next week so hopefully we can turn up again and play like we did today.”

Coach Steve Hansen was delighted all the planning they had put into beating France had paid off.

He suggested the 2007 quarter-final loss to the same opponents at the same Millennium Stadium venue had been on the mind of some.

“We just got a wee monkey off the back,” he said.

“It was a very, very pleasing performance. Everyone from No.1 to No.23 played their part.

“These guys have worked hard for the last four weeks to come in and play a big game. To either turn up and play or go home is enough to get you to where you need to mentally. Then it’s about backing your talent.”

He says South Africa represent an enormous challenge for his side and will demand a whole new set of planning.

“We can’t wait. We’re playing against a great opposition in South Africa, they’re a great team.

“We really enjoy their company and we’ll enjoy playing them.”

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