South Africa have vowed to batten down the hatches in their World Cup quarter-final game against a Fiji team that loves free-flowing rugby and an expansive game.
The Springboks, boasting a national record total of 639 caps in the starting XV, will look to their steely pack to close down the game to nullify the skillful Fijian side.
Wales fell into the trap of playing the Fijians at their own game and came horrendously unstuck, losing 38-34 in the decisive pool game and missing out on a berth in the knock-out phase.
That is something lock Victor Matfield said the 'Boks would not be doing.
"Fiji would like an open game but we will play to our game plan even if it does not please the crowd," Matfield said.
"They are good when they get the ball so we need to keep it away from them as much as possible," he said, adding that the Pacific Islanders had performed decently in the line-out against the Welsh.
Center Jaque Fourie, who will likely be targeted by hard-hitting opposite number Seru Rabeni, especially after saying that the Boks did not respect Fiji, said he was relishing the chance of a big-contact game.
"We like the physical confrontations," Fourie said, "Fiji are a threat because they are all good runners and steppers."
He stressed that his team's gameplan would not involve playing in the style of rugby sevens, the abbreviated and much faster form of the game in which Fiji have become world masters.
"If you make it a seven's game then that's what they [Fiji] want," Fourie said.
"For the first 20 to 30 minutes -- if we can keep it structured, keep it short, keep it boring and put some points on the board -- then at the back end of the game we can open it up a bit," he said.
Fellow center Francois Steyn added that first-up tackles could also play a big role in the match at the Stade Velodrome.
"We need to get the Fijian players on the ground as soon as possible. We can't take them high because they are very strong in the upper body so we need to wrap them up around the legs," he said.
"The sooner we get them to the ground then we can attack the ball," Steyn said.
APPROPRIATE RESPONSE: The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan expressed ‘sincere regret’ for publishing the image on its in-house magazine and Web site A satirical mock-up depicting the Tokyo Games logo as the novel coronavirus has been pulled from online after Olympic organizers branded it “insensitive” and said that it infringed copyright. The design combines the distinctive, spiky image of the coronavirus cell with the blue-and-white Tokyo Games logo. It appeared on the cover of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan’s magazine. The Tokyo Games have been postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and halted sport worldwide. Club president Khaldon Azhari yesterday said that the club had decided to withdraw the image and remove
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas’ burgeoning career, but he remains philosophical about the tennis shutdown. The world No. 6 would have been preparing for the French Open that was originally scheduled to start this weekend, but was postponed to September. While he is missing life on the ATP Tour, Tsitsipas believes that the lockdown has given the planet a breather. “I actually think they should put us in lockdown once a year — it’s good for nature, it’s good for our planet,” Tsitsipas said in an Instagram Live conversation for At Home With Babsi on Eurosport’s Instagram page. “I
When South Korea’s domestic women’s golf tour held its premier event last week — without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic — no fewer than three of the world’s top 10 players took part. The country of 52 million people has a disproportionate share of the women’s world golf rankings, providing eight of the current top 20. In a demonstration of their prominence, South Korean women have won at least one major every season since 2010, with coronavirus cancellations perhaps the biggest threat to their run this year. The phenomenon, players and commentators have said, results from driven parents, intense training, a highly