If South Africa had met France in the quarter-final would South Africa have looked as good as the All Blacks and would France have looked so outclassed if the had met the Boks? Would it have been so close had Wales faced the All Blacks instead of the Springboks? Of course these are hypothetical ‘what ifs?’
Your honest answers may go a long way to indicating how difficult it is going to be for the Boks against the ultimate challenge in rugby, the All Blacks.
When people ask me do you think the Boks have a chance, I answer ” Of course. The thing is with South Africans is, just when we are told we can’t then suddenly we can.”
It’s knockout rugby and anything can happen. It’s one squad of 23 vs another of 23, although that might change a bit if Jannie du Plessis plays his normal game.
I have been very critical of the ‘Domkrag‘ approach of Heyneke Meyer and those players close to him like Victor Matfield. I haven’t been won over, I still think South Africa should be trying to learn new things and add to their basic game but it’s semi-final time and the Boks are there.
There have been a number of players in this Springbok group who have been outstanding, no more so than Lood de Jager. Lood is still in doubt about whether he will start in Saturday’s showdown. The way the Springboks have played since losing to Japan has been one of forwards running down the channels off either shoulder of the fly-half, which has been reasonably effective, far less so against Wales though. Lood’s enormous size and the physicality he brings to the collisions, plus his very high work rate has ensured that South Africa have been getting over the gainline frequently and are able to continue off go forward ball.
South Africa panic when going backwards, without Lood there, this just might happen. Added to the mix, is that it could be wet. New Zealand winters are wet and the Kiwi’s will feel far more comfortable in these conditions than the Boks.
Now there seems to be a lot of things that are not in South Africa’s favour not to mention that most South Africans feel that every referee is out to get them, Jerome Garces is not really liked by South Africans, but like I said earlier ” When you tell a South African they can’t, then suddenly they can.”