The All Blacks were awesome last Saturday night, not just overcoming their French World Cup demons with poise and style but obliterating them with a display of sustained pace and power rarely if ever seen before.

However, while New Zealand are rightly strong-favourites to win this first semi-final against South Africa at Twickenham - the value bets have to be a Kiwi success by 1-12 points at 6-4 or, if you can contemplate the Springboks sneaking it, which I can, the Boks with a ten point-start at 5-6.

The reasoning for this begins with afternoon rain forecast for London. The All Blacks are unlikely to play such high-percentage rugby in these conditions as at the Millennium Stadium roof in their quarter-final. They won't be expecting to dominate the set-piece and breakdown like they did against Les Bleus so there won't be quite as many forwards fanning out across the pitch. And they won't want to risk turnovers from dropped balls or intercepts with killer flyers Bryan Habana, JP Pietersen and Willie Le Roux in opposition. New Zealand have won two of the last three meetings by seven and four points and the Springboks won the middle game by two.

South Africa showed great strength of mind to edge out Wales last Saturday afternoon - not conceding an early try, getting over their mid-game kicking wobbles and scoring the result-defining try with a training ground-scrum move from Fourie Du Preez. Eight of this matchday 23 were in the 2007 World Cup-winning squad. They know how to hang tough and talk through playing in northern hemisphere Autumn conditions.

The Springboks' stunning loss to Japan on the first weekend of the tournament eradicated their arrogance and ended the experimentations of Heyneke Meyer which had led to a blank Rugby Championship in the summer. They took their anger out on the rest of Pool B and then channelled that aggression to overcome a brave and tactically-clever Wales outfit. By contrast, France surrendered once the going got tough against New Zealand and bar the first hour against Argentina, the All Blacks have had it easy in this tournament.

Meyer was fulsome in his praise for eight-try Julian Savea in midweek and will probably feel he has to come up with a plan to stop him even though he is yet to score a try in five outings against the Boks. Maybe something along the lines of the 1995 World Cup final, won 15-12 by South Africa, when they team-tackled the legendary Jonah Lomu into touch and to a standstill.

South Africa team-tackled Lomu into touch and a standstill that day. Surely history won't repeat itself though. Someone from two fully-functioning rolling mauls and livewire offences must cross the whitewash, and ABs head coach Steve Hansen won't leave Savea to get isolated on the sideline. It would be no surprise to see him on the crash in midfield and taking an inside line off the Fly-Half. He did to fair effect in the Georgia game and it would help suck in the defence and create space for others.

Right Wing Nehe Milner-Skudder has shrugged off the injury that saw him replaced against France and has shown on more than one occasion in this tournament how adept he is at stepping inside cover defending. But the value anytime tryscorer bets come closer in with Full-Back Ben Smith at 7-2 and Outside Centre Conrad Smith at 11-2.

Both men will love the Springboks' attention being focused on the wings and Inside Centre Ma'a Nonu, who has been magnificent in recent weeks, as they slice up defences themselves with their running lines and angles of support. They also have great scoring records against South Africa of three in five Tests (Ben) and four in 17 (Conrad).

This should be a tough, tense encounter so there could be some value in the 14-1 on offer for a red card. That doesn't mean a serious act of foul play is expected - though there have been a few down the years in these encounters - just that the occasion may bring out mistimed tackles and more desperate, repeated actions at the breakdowns and in defence. A bet on a sending-off would also act as some cover against an All Blacks blowout.

Recommended Bets

South Africa +10 - 2pts @ 5/6
Ben Smith Anytime Tryscorer - 1pt @ 7/2
Conrad Smith Anytime Tryscorer - 1pt @ 11/2
Sending-Off in match - 0.5pts @ 14/1