Bismarck not sinking just yet

Date published: September 22 2015

Springboks hooker Bismarck du Plessis is encouraged by the fact that the last two World Cup finalists had lost matches in the group phase of the tournament.

During the 2011 tournament France was actually defeated twice in Pool A, against New Zealand and against Tonga in one of the surprise results of the tournament. During the 2007 tournament – also a Pool A fixture – England were reeling after the 0-36 defeat against the Springboks at the Stade de France.

In the case of England there was even managerial strife and internal drama, yet the nation still managed to book a spot in the tournament final, where it lost to the Springboks in a what was ultimately a tightly contest fixture.

Du Plessis, who was a part of the 2007 campaign, understands as well as anybody that there is still hope in 2015. Significantly he thinks the remainder of the squad understands that too.

"It was a really tough day for us on Saturday. It was very emotional but we have got to put that emotion aside," said Du Plessis on Tuesday.

"The nice thing in this World Cup is that you get another chance. If you look at history, the last two World Cup finalists also lost a game in the pool stages," added Du Plessis.

"France [runners-up four year ago] actually lost two games. And if you look at the soccer World Cup [in 2010] Spain actually lost their first game to Switzerland that they should never have lost and still went on to win the tournament.

"We have to take heart out of that, we can see it's been done and we want to hang on to that hope and give hope for our nation," said the hooker.

Du Plessis does acknowledge that there has been considerable disappointment within the squad. However, he is adamant that that is now in the past, adding that the players would be able to move on from this.

"We were very disappointed with our performance last week but the loss to Japan is now in the past and we can only change the future. For us we have to trust our own process, trust what the coach wants us to do," said Du Plessis.

"We've got to execute that on the day. What they do we can't control, we can only control what we do."