Springboks : Savea not as good as Lomu

All Black winger Julian Savea powers past France fullback Scott Spedding

The Springboks have just about laid down the gauntlet for All Black winger Julian Savea ahead of their Semi-final by saying that the winger is no Jonah Lomu.

Comparisons have been drawn between Savea and Lomu for some time and his hat-trick against France the argument has heated up.

Savea’s performance against France made him the first player to score multiple hat-tricks at a single World Cup but the Springboks still say he is not as great as Lomu.

Savea scored three tries against Georgia and three tries against France which takes him to eight tries for the 2015 Rugby World Cup which equals the record held by Bryan Habana (2007) and Lomu (1999).

His effort against France also moved him up in the All Blacks try scoring record book to past Lomu who scored 37 tries in 63 matches compared to Savea who has now score 38 tries in 39 games.

Whilst most will be impressed with Savea’s try scoring stats Springbok winger – who is expected to face Savea – says the All Black winger is not in Lomu’s league.

“Julian is playing very good rugby, with eight tries in four games. I enjoy watching him, and he is a difficult customer and I know it’s going to be a tough challenge to mark him,” Pietersen told the NZHerald.

“But I don’t think you can compare him to Lomu because Lomu did something that no one has ever done. He was a destructive force that got to 15 World Cup tries in just two campaigns (1995 and 1999). ”

“But Julian is a great player in his own right and whatever he does, he does well,” said Pietersen who has played 64 times for South Africa.

Pietersen did however admit that he will have to be on top of his game to keep Savea from scoring in the Semi-final.

“He is strong in contact, good under the high ball and he can also kick. So I will have to be at my absolute best to contain him,” Pietersen said.

“But you live for challenges and on Saturday we’ll both bring our best games and it should be a good battle – he will certainly bring the best out of me.”

One stat that Savea shares with Lomu is that neither winger have ever scored against South Africa but that could well change on Saturday after Pietersen’s comments.

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