Burger wary of Pocock threat

Openside flanker poised for a key role in Wellington

Last Updated: 05/10/11 3:46pm

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David Pocock: Set to return

David Pocock: Set to return

Sky Bet

South Africa star Schalk Burger believes Australia will be handed a "massive boost" when David Pocock returns for Sunday's quarter-final clash.

The 23-year-old openside flanker has missed much of the World Cup so far due to a niggling back injury, but he is poised for a key role in Wellington.

Pocock's ability to steal opposition ball at the breakdown makes him a huge threat for a South African side bidding to retain their world title.

"David is a fantastic player, and getting him back is a massive boost (for Australia)," said Springboks blindside Burger.

"The breakdown is always a tough area, and if you dominate you will usually go well in the game.

"The breakdown is always a tough area, and if you dominate you will usually go well in the game. David is one of the best openside flankers in world rugby at the moment, so if he gets opportunities he will definitely turn it (possession) over."
Schalk Burger Quotes of the week

"David is one of the best openside flankers in world rugby at the moment, so if he gets opportunities he will definitely turn it (possession) over.

"The way the breakdown is interpreted at the moment it is probably a 70-30 split for the attacking side, so I think there is a good balance at this World Cup.

"Hopefully, on Sunday, we can get a good balance between attack and defence for both sides."

South Africa emerged unbeaten from Pool D, prevailing despite suffering major scares against Wales and Samoa.

And they are widely viewed as the country most likely to stop red-hot favourites New Zealand from being crowned world champions.

Burger added: "I don't think we are at a stage of the competition where we are going to change much.

"It looks like the weather is going to be all right. If we were playing today (in fierce wind and rain), I suppose our tactics would have been quite different.

"There is a fair bit of wind around in Wellington, and territory will be very important, so whichever way you find fit to get territory advantage you will use.

"But the weather looks good at the moment, and hopefully it stays that way, both sides can play some enterprising rugby and it will be a great spectacle."

South Africa have considerably more experience in their team than Australia, while they can also fall back on memories of four years ago after lifting the Webb Ellis Trophy in Paris.

Experienced

"It helps being there and having experienced it before," Burger said. "But at the end of the day, your caps are not going to win you a rugby match. You have got to go out there and play to the best of your capabilities.

"Hopefully, when it comes down to the last seconds of the game we are five metres from the Wallabies try-line and not vice versa.

"When it gets tight like that, you call on individuals to make the right decisions and not make mistakes.

"It's about accuracy. When the game gets tight, it is about individual errors or individual decisions, and hopefully we make the right ones."

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