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‘Springboks will rise to the occasion against New Zealand’

Fikile Mbalulas says New Zealand is no push over, but he believes the Boks are fully prepared and ready.

FILE: Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has urged the Springboks to come back home with the William Webb Ellis Trophy. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula says the Springboks will rise to the occasion in their semifinal match against New Zealand on Saturday.

Coach Heyneke Meyer's men beat Wales 23-19 last night at Twickenham to book their spot in the top four of the Rugby World Cup.

Speaking on 702's _Sports Talk, _Mbalula says New Zealand is no push over, but he believes the team is fully prepared and ready to take on the All Black.

"We will dig deep. We've got a good mixture of experience, youth and age. We know what we are up against."

He says the Boks, in beating Wales, did not want to have a repeat of the previous world cups where they did not make it to the final.

"It was too big to contemplate and the boys had to be spectacular. That try by the captain tells you a story that experience counted."

He says the team had the tenacity to fight back.

"We were aware that [if we lost] we would have been packing and coming home. That would not have been good for us. Wales showed that they wanted it more but the Springboks is the Springboks."

#RWC2015: Thumbs up for Boks after tight Wales clash

Visit the Eyewitness News special Rugby World Cup 2015 portal.

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