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Plenty of spice in Eng-SAF match

By Tom Wald 05/10/2003 09:37:10 PM Comments (0)

England centre Will Greenwood concedes there will be added spice attached to his team's World Cup pool match against South Africa in Perth on October 18.

The match has already been billed as a must win for both sides if they are to claim the Webb Ellis Trophy.

The loser will face a likely quarter-final berth against 1987 champion New Zealand in Melbourne and if it gets through that a potential semi-final against two-time winners Australia in Sydney.

But there will be more at stake in this match than a better path to next month's World Cup final.

The English players fear the Springboks will again use dirty tactics to rattle their superior unit such as the Africans tried in their 53-3 defeat at Twickenham last November.

Meanwhile the South Africa players showed they do not believe England to be squeaky clean with captain Corne Krige labelling English captain Martin Johnson one of the dirtiest players in world rugby.

Springboks coach Rudolf Straeuli added further fuel to the fire with his thinly veiled swipe at Johnson's disciplinary record.

But Greenwood said all that mattered was the result.

"It is a one-off game on October 18, there is obviously a little added spice, the recent happenings over the past 12 months, press articles and comments and certain digs," he said.

"But I am sure come October 18, both sides will be focusing on that all important win. You saw in the 1999 World Cup how important it is to win your group, so the win is the most important thing."

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