Smit wary of Wallabies
South Africa captain John Smit is sure that Australia will consider themselves favourites ahead of their World Cup quarter-final.
Last Updated: 03/10/11 2:34pm
South Africa captain John Smit is sure that Australia will consider themselves favourites ahead of their World Cup quarter-final on Sunday.
The Wallabies have won five out of the last six Tests against the Springboks stretching back to September 2009, including two victories in this year's Tri-Nations just before the tournament in New Zealand.
And while Australia will be looking to merely repeat what they have done in the past, Smit says his side will go into the clash with a completely different mindset.
"I'm pretty sure they will feel they have a mental edge. The results leading into the World Cup over the last two years certainly favour them," he said.
"We'll want to face the game as a fresh start in terms of where we want to go in the next three weeks and I'm pretty sure they'll look at what they've been able to achieve before against us. It's two different mindsets I suppose.
"They certainly have had the upper-hand over the last couple of seasons and we'd be naive not to accept that."
But Smit also thinks that the do-or-die nature of the World Cup's knockout stages will mean that the clash will be approached in a different way to a normal Test or Tri-Nations encounter.
"The games we've played (in the past two years) have been in a different vein to what a World Cup does provide," the front-row forward said.
"We're both in a situation where it's do-or-die, last chance. We've got to make good on that.
"I suppose they are not going to fool themselves and rely on what they've done and we're not going to fool ourselves and look back at what hasn't been done.
"Each of us are going to take what we've done in the last four weeks and work on that, take the positives out and hopefully put it all together on Sunday."
Smit admitted that the Springboks arrived at the World Cup with little form behind them after the majority of the squad were rested for the early stages of the Tri-Nations.
But he believes they have been able to build some momentum due to the Pool D schedule, where they secured wins over Wales, Fiji, Namibia and Samoa.
Smit said: "Those pools, especially for us have been invaluable because we came in pretty undercooked.
"Having the game time being able to see what your combinations are like and see how players can get into form has been very valuable for us.
"I'm pretty sure it would have been the same for the other teams. Now everyone is on the same level."