Boks play better under pressure: Meyer

Date published: October 4 2015

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The Springboks are close to securing their spot in the Rugby World Cup's knockout stages and their coach, Heyneke Meyer, said they will continue to put pressure on themselves.

South Africa bounced back in style after a shock opening loss against Japan a fortnight ago, with satisfying victories over Samoa and Scotland and it seems that they are finally back on track.

However, the Boks still have a tough pool game against the USA at the Olympic Stadium in London on Wednesday and a victory will see them top top Pool B. 

With their backs against the wall, after their humiliating defeat to Japan in their opener in Brighton, returned to their traditional style of play and are reaping the rewards.

They now have the chance to make history as no team has ever won the Rugby World Cup after a loss in the pool during the tournament's pool stages.

Meyer believes his team is thriving because they had their backs up against the wall after that loss to defeat.

“We’re at our best when we’ve been written off, so we will have to keep the pressure on ourselves," he said after Saturday's 34-16 win over Scotland in Newcastle.

"I don’t know why but it is part of our mentality. I don’t know why but if the whole world writes us off, that is when we come back..

“We will need that ruthlessness and desperation going into Wednesday as well. We don’t talk about favourites. We just take it game by game."

“But saying that, you have to take confidence from the good things. Suddenly our lineout is working with youngsters, Handre Pollard’s kicking performance and our defence are good, and those are great things (to spur us on). That is how you win trophies.”

Meyer praised the way his senior players led from the front against Scotland and indicated that the Boks will stick to their structures.

“The senior players must get a lot of credit, you have to adapt to the laws, and every competition has its own laws and we have adapted to that after the first game," he added.

“It suits us the way we’ve played but we have to keep our feet on the ground and be humble, and learn from our mistakes in the past.

“It is great to have momentum, but we are in a position where every single game is a must-win and that will not change. We have to keep the pressure on. We want to make our country proud.

“It won’t be easy on Wednesday but we’re really focused, and that will rub off onto the team.”

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