Three more matches...
By Lindsay Weyer
Technical Advisor to the Springboks in Japan
We come off a great 66 -7 win against Canada where we had a clinical first half and it looked like everyone was enjoying themselves. That is the spirit ahead of the quarter-finals against the host nation, Japan in Tokyo.
We thought we would play Japan in the quarters, so no surprise there. Luckily, we played and beat them in the pre-World Cup game, so we have an idea of who we are up against. We have just arrived in Tokyo, there are some Typhoon concerns, but the weather seems fine but we will know closer to Sunday. We are fully focused on ourselves and our processes and what we want to achieve.
If we can handle that, then we can handle anything that’s put in front of us. We see this coming stage as three games to go, 240 minutes of rugby left until we bring the Cup home. Everyone has their own opinion on what makes a World Cup-winning team, but definitely the pressure game and availability of players makes a huge difference.
At this stage, its all about the pressure, you have your own country watching your every move, you have the live audience, there are expectations for the team to succeed and be perfect in every way, not to mention the on the field pressure.
Availability of players is key for preparations; you need to be coached and physically ready to play in all these games. So, if you are experienced or young, it really does not matter, as long you are available at all times to add value.
Only 31 players are allowed in a squad, but the coaching team and the players feel the pressure just the same. We have to get our analysis right, analyse ourselves and then the opposition. We have to understand the opposition’s DNA and provide proof for our players.