South Africa are relishing the prospect of taking on New Zealand in their Rugby World Cup semi-final at Twickenham on Saturday.
That is the word from Springbok flanker Francois Louw who admitted that he was surprised by the way the All Blacks demolished France in their quarter-final.
“We watched the All Blacks demolishing France with some interest,” he said.
“It was a great performance but they were always going to be favourites against a troubled French side. I must admit, I though France would put up more of a fight.
"I am surprised they lost so heavily, not to take anything away from the All Blacks.”
Louw said there's growing excitement about taking on their arch-rivals this weekend.
“The All Blacks are our traditional foe, we love playing against them,” he added.
“It is the dream of every boy growing up in South Africa to score a try against the All Blacks to win the game, and we have all beaten the All Blacks in childhood games in our backyard.
“We always knew that we would have to beat the best to win the World Cup and it so happens that we are to cross paths with the world’s number one ranked team in the semi-finals.
“For us it is a derby game against our biggest rivals on the greatest stage in rugby – a sold-out Twickenham, with the stakes enormous. They desperately want to advance to the final, so do we.”
The Bath stalwart admitted that despite celebrating their narrow won over Wales on Saturday, the Boks were already talking about taking on the world champions.
“There are going to be a lot of nerves from both sides,” said Louw.
“Both sides know each other’s capabilities. They won’t write us off and will be as excited about the game as we are.
"There is a personal rivalry between the teams that adds something extra, and I know they feel the same way.”