Boks eager to be in striking range

Date published: October 20 2015

South Africa defence coach John McFarland has stressed his side must not let New Zealand build a lead by the hour mark in Saturday's semi-final.

McFarland said he had been impressed by the All Blacks in their 62-13 demolition of France and believes they must stay within touching distance.

"On the last two occasions we were leading at half-time and 60 minutes and they have come back (in) both games. The game at Ellis Park recently (20-27 defeat, July 2015) Lood (de Jager) was inches from a try which would have taken us clear by 14 points," the Bok coach informed the press.

"It's important not to let them get away. They have a very good conversion of line breaks to tries ratio, probably the best at it in the world, but the object is not to give them any line breaks."

He added: "It's up to us to stop their carries on the gainlines. They have always been very intense games and come down to one score and one moment. It's up to us to produce that."

McFarland was an interested observer as the All Blacks ran rampant against les Bleus and he could not help but praise how they played in Cardiff.

"It was a great performance. To score nine tries in a quarter-final was brilliant. They buried France from the start," he said before responding to a question about whether he had spotted anything new in their game.

"You would have to kill me for me to tell you that (laughs). There are some different things. I think Dan Carter coming back, he hasn't played against us for the last three times. Their exiting is better with him and their composure. Then there are new guys like (Nehe) Milner-Skudder too."