New Zealand v South Africa, Tri-Nations, Auckland, July 10
Smit expecting fiery reception
July 7, 2010

Springbok skipper John Smit is expecting a fiery reception from the All Blacks in Auckland on Saturday as the hosts go in search of Tri-Nations revenge.

Smit's side took top prize last season, ending a four-year run of New Zealand victories, and the Sharks hooker is in no doubt that there will be scores to settle once kick-off arrives.

"They are the team that has won the Tri-Nations the most out of all three of us," Smit said. "Not winning it really irritates them. We're pretty certain they are going to rock up pretty worked up and ready to go on Saturday."

Richie McCaw will lead the All Blacks once again, taking the reins of an experienced XV boasting the fit-again Ma'a Nonu in midfield. In terms of psychological motivation, the Crusaders flanker has to look no further than last season's defeats to South Africa in Bloemfontein, Durban and Hamilton.

The Springboks have delayed naming their starting side until Thursday due to injury worries over locks Danie Rossouw and Bakkies Botha, but McCaw is determined to stop whatever combinations the tourists throw at them.

"They're a good pack and the key is, if you allow them to get across the advantage line off set-piece and get nice, easy ball there, that's when they come into their own," he said. "They're good players, but they're not perfect, and if you put them under pressure, you can find areas to exploit, and I'm sure they will be exactly the same.

"We just have to be careful we don't play the game before Saturday. Because we've had an extra couple of days together, we have to make sure Saturday is the day we're ready to go. If you get two wins under your belt, that sets you up fairly well for the last four. If you start off with losing two, no matter whether you're at home or whatever, it makes it pretty tough, which we found out last year."


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