Duane Vermeulen and Cheslin Kolbe say it is difficult to get accustomed to the weather conditions in Japan.
South Africa were the first team to arrive in Japan for the World Cup in an attempt to acclimatise to the extreme weather conditions. The Boks are also set to play their final warm-up against the hosts in preparation for their pool game against the All Blacks in two weeks’ time.
Speaking at the team announcement media conference on Monday, Duane Vermeulen explained that the Boks will have to pay closer attention to what they are used to.
‘There’s a lot more attention to detail, let’s say breakdown-wise, when the ball might pop out, we have to be ready,’ he said. ‘We have to work on the small detail to make sure we get that perfected and make sure everyone knows what to do, especially with the ball being slippery and wet.’
‘You kinda know the conditions, but you don’t really get used to the conditions because the humidity affects every single player. It’s going to be a difficult and we need to prepare accordingly before going into the game [against Japan].
Kolbe echoed Vermeulen’s sentiments, calling on their teammates to ‘simplify’ their playing style in accordance with the weather.
‘With the humidity and the ball being wet, I think we just have to – in terms of playing style – stay close to one another and just simplify our game. We do have to get used to the humidity, but rugby is rugby and we just have to play the best we can.’
The 25-year-old added that the Bok players should banish memories of South Africa’s humiliating 34-32 loss to Japan at the 2015 World Cup from their minds.
‘We are a proud nation and definitely go out there to win. We shouldn’t have the mindset of what happened four years ago, we should just focus on the match on Friday.
‘What happened four years ago happened. We can’t rectify that, so we have to stay in this moment. We should not have any fear, just be ourselves and play our natural game.’
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