Habana predicts epic battle in Cardiff

Mon, 14 Oct 2013 12:19
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Record-breaking South Africa wing Bryan Habana is predicting an epic battle when the Springboks take on Wales in Cardiff in November.

Record-breaking South Africa wing Bryan Habana is predicting an epic battle when the Springboks take on Wales in Cardiff in November.

The 30-year-old former IRB Player of the Year is looking forward to returning to the Welsh capital next month and believes, following the success of the British and Irish Lions in mid-year, the Welsh side will be more dangerous than ever.

"We are really looking forward to the challenge of going to Cardiff and a lot of the Welsh players will be on a real high after what was a fantastic Lions series," said Habana.

"Numerous amounts of those boys were involved and it was a successful series due to the way a lot of those boys played.

"I love travelling to Wales and it's going to be an epic battle.

"Obviously I hope I'm involved as it would be great to be in the Green and Gold jersey, playing in Cardiff."

The last time South Africa visited the Millennium Stadium, in November 2010, they edged a tight contest 29-25.

That day saw the emergence of George North onto the international stage, who marked his debut with a brace of tries.

His opposite number was Habana and he remembers that encounter well.

"Playing in Cardiff is a special place and I remember playing against George North on his debut where he scored two tries against the Springboks." he added.

"Wales have got a fantastic back three, who yet again on the Lions tour showed their worth and they are stand out players.

"George really showed what he can do and was part of a great back-three.  Leigh Halfpenny was man of the series and he is not only great with the ball in hand but is a ferocious kicker and we know we will have to be highly disciplined in attack and defence."

Speaking after his side's 28-37 defeat to New Zealand in the final round of the Rugby Championship, Habana admitted he was disappointed with the way the Springboks finished the campaign but warned they will come back even stronger.

"We had a fantastic build up to the game and we wanted a fairy-tale ending to the Championship but it wasn't to be," he added.

"It's really disappointing but we will dig deep, look at ourselves as players, see where we let ourselves down and see how we improve as a Springbok side.

"We have to give huge credit to the All Blacks, but we let ourselves down in defence and that is where we lost the game."

"There is no rest nowadays, the South African based players will go straight into the Currie Cup and the boys playing overseas are back into European and domestic leagues.

"It's a busy schedule but it means we can get straight back to it and I'm looking forward to hopefully meeting up with the Springboks again in four weeks to start our European tour."