Skinstad: Burger is no fly-half

Date published: October 23 2015

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Former Springbok Bob Skinstad has criticised Schalk Burger for getting too involved in South Africa's back-line play.

Burger has been used extensively as a carrier for the Springboks at the World Cup. In fact, the flanker has notched up 80 carries and is leading that statistic for the tournament.

However, Skinstad would like to see him performing the more traditional role of flanker at ruck time, instead of at fly-half, especially when they face the New Zealand in their semi-final on Saturday.

"He's a fantastic player but for me he's standing at first receiver too much," said the former Springbok captain.

"You can't begrudge him the number of contributions he's made, but it's about the quality of those contributions.

"Did he offload to somebody who ran through a gap? Did he lose the ball on the ground?

"He's playing well but against New Zealand he needs to carry less and tackle more. He needs to do the hard yards, clean out more. Schalk is a great contributor but he needs to spend less time at fly-half if South Africa are going to win."

On South Africa's chances ahead of the semi-final clash at Twickenham, Skinstad believes the Springboks have to assert their physicality on the All Blacks, or they will lose.

"Out-smashing the All Blacks is the only way we can beat the All Blacks…we can't out-run them," added Skinstad.

"The only way we can win is traditional powerhouse South African rugby and the players will not need to be psyched up for that, they will be really excited about this game.

"They'll love the clash and will want to smash into the All Blacks. More than anything, they'll just be pleased to have a chance to do that.

"We have to go really hard in the forwards for a long time before we can look to go wide. The All Blacks will go wide earlier than us. 

"It's going to be a massive clash. If The Springboks are on song they'll be in with a shout. South Africa will be thinking 'we've pushed the All Blacks close before, so let's prepare for fire and brimstone. Let's take them on and march on to the goal'.

"New Zealand looked special against France, but France let them play like that. Maybe they've laid their World Cup bogey against French teams to rest now.

"But New Zealand are also a southern hemisphere side that we see a lot of. We play them twice a year so they won't be able to outfox the Springboks as easily as they did the French, but they're still a powerful team."

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