South Africa excited yet scared to face hosts Japan

After an amazing run in the pool games, South Africa is feeling excited and at the same time scared to be facing Japan in the quarter finals against a strong Japan team at their own back yard.

Speaking at a media conference in Tokyo earlier today, coach Rassie Erasmus said it wasn’t a big surprise. After playing Japan in the warm up game, they already thought if they were to be number one or two in their pool then Japan would either be number one or two.

After the loss against All Blacks in their first game, the team has improved. He added by saying most of the teams have improved since the 2015 World Cup.

The reason behind the warm up game against Japan was to erase the Brighton game so that if they were to play them in play-offs, that game would hopefully not get mentioned again.

The only way they could stop a rampant Japan depends on how much their defence has improved and how much Japan has improved on attacking considering the fact they only scored one try in the warm up game.

“It was only a warm up game and the way Japan has embraced the pressure, it’s really impressive. The way they have built and accepted the pressure… that will be something massive on Sunday, which will play a big role.”

Only time will tell on Sunday when they play Japan. But in the same breath, the warm-up game didn’t have pressure. It will be interesting to see how both teams will handle the pressure and expectations on both sides.

Possibly Ending the hosts’ party by beating Japan

It’s really tough not to like the Japanese people. The way they have accepted all teams not just South Africa, in terms of adopting everyone as a city.

The way they handled the Typhoon- with all losses, in terms of lives and different ways and forms. It shows the strength of Japanese people to still host a game, play a game and beat a team like Scotland.

South Africa is playing for their country and they want to try and win the World Cup. for the next week, unfortunately, Japan is the enemy.

“We love the country and the people, but we have to try and beat them. And we have to play really well to beat them because they are ranked eighth in the world and they deserve it.”

Changing Weather Conditions

South Africa was ready for any change in weather due to earlier warnings that in the middle of October, the humidity will go down and will still be warm, the ball will be less slippery and easier to handle.

That stage has approached and they can feel that when they walk around, at training; Putting on their tracksuits tops as they can definitely feel the change.

This kind of climate will suit Japan’s game. But then again, the Springboks are used to playing All Blacks at Loftus Versfeld in South Africa.

They are used to that condition and it’s not foreign for them to play against teams who like to run the ball in dry weather.

Follow the knockout stages of the Rugby World Cup with Last Word on Rugby: @LWOSRugby and LWOS Rugby Union.

Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images


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