The Springboks remain confident that they can adapt to whatever conditions they may encounter in their World Cup opener against Japan on Saturday, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
Although the Boks were greeted by sunny but cool conditions when they landed at Heathrow on Saturday morning, the team has since been based in Eastbourne, where they’ve had to contend with some inclement weather at the beginning of their first week in England.
However, the Boks will soon be moving on to the match venue in Brighton, where the weather forecast suggests the conditions should be favourable.
Whatever the case may be, assistant coach Ricardo Loubscher said they weren’t overly concerned.
‘At the moment, the weather forecast suggest it won’t rain on Saturday, so from our point of view we just need to prepare for any conditions. Hopefully we’ll get some sun in the next day or two.’
Earlier this week, coach Heyneke Meyer insisted the team wasn’t set to adopt a conservative game plan at the World Cup, but he also admitted that he believed the team needed to play to their traditional strengths and execute a style of play that they would employ throughout the tournament.
In this regard the Boks will be looking to embrace a tactical approach that suits the situation presented in northern hemisphere conditions, knowing that it would be suicide to change the game plan later on in the tournament.
‘We’ve shown over the past few years that we can play in any conditions and have the ability to adapt,’ Loubscher commented. ‘Our first focus is on winning the game … Japan will present a different sort of challenge, but we’re looking forward to that. We just need to prepare as well as possible and hopefully the weather will play its part so we can look forward to a good spectacle.’
While the Boks have made enough attacking advancements in recent seasons to create sufficient try-scoring opportunities, their finishing has not always been up to the desired standard.
Loubscher acknowledged that they would need to be ruthless and clinical against an unpredictable Japanese team.
‘Eddie Jones is a world-class coach, he’s very astute and very experienced. We’ll need to be prepared for anything, but we just want to focus on our game and finish off whatever chances we might create.’
The Boks will announce the team for their World Cup opener on Wednesday morning.
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images