The Rugby world is brimming with anticipation ahead of the top two teams in rugby, Ireland and South Africa tackling each other in a Pool B game in the Rugby World Cup in Paris France.
And while a lot of focus has been on the seven forwards and one backline player split on the Springbok bench, Ireland’s coaching staff feel it’s a storm in a teacup.
The heavyweight clash will decide who ends up on top of the group and who will be the number one ranked team in world rugby on Monday.
Springboks Assistant Coach, Mzwandile Stick says the Boks will focus on their own strengths.
“They’re not just number one for nothing, they are well-organised and this world different challenges come up, we are good travellers and we will adapt if needed but we will focus on what we do best first.”
Tweet from the Springboks account:
“We are playing against the best team in the world and as a group we lean on our strengths, so we won’t change much in the way we do things” – more here: https://t.co/rQBviWIuLJ 🗣#Springboks #StrongerTogether #RWC2023 pic.twitter.com/ldEvBgQRzK
— Springboks (@Springboks) September 22, 2023
Playing Irish club rugby has lifted the Boks playing style to another level. Springboks centre, Damian de Allende says, “For me, it improves my micro skills in terms of connecting with the team and that’s something the coaches wants to see as well and our individual skills have improved a lot.”
These improvements are plain to see for the Irish coaching staff.
Ireland Assistant Coach, Paul O’connell says, “I think they’ve developed their game since the last world cup and the last autumn series, they present a big physical challenge and we know that but they’ve become a very smart side and that’s admirable, their smarts with physicality.”
The coaches didn’t change anything to counter the Boks’ 7-1 split on the bench.
O’connell says he hasn’t thought much about the Boks’ 7-1 split. “I don’t have a problem with it, if you have guys to cover there it makes sense and if they feel it gives them an advantage fair play to them, and I haven’t given it a lot of thought.”
The game kicks off at 9 p.m. on Saturday evening.