Boks ready for aerial bombardment

Date published: October 13 2015

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Pat_Lambie_South_Africa_high_ball_catch_training

South Africa are preparing to see their back three given plenty of work in Saturday's Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Wales.

The Springboks are known for their kicking game but playmaker Pat Lambie said he is expecting Wales to use their strong defence and tactical kicks to put them under pressure.

"Wales have fast line-speed, lots of numbers on their feet and put sides under pressure with their defence," commented Lambie on Tuesday. 

"They kick lots of high balls, lots of cross-field contestables, which they chase down with huge intensity."

Welsh skipper Sam Warburton has said the men in red are feeling confident having beaten the Boks 12-6 in Cardiff last year but Lambie insists the Springboks are not bothered by that result in November.

"I think what happened in the past needs to stay in the past," said Lambie.

"All that counts now is Saturday, we will learn from what happened Cardiff last November but we need to focus on ourselves and put in a good performance."

The fly-half cum full-back also said that the ghosts of South Africa's quarter-final exit in the 2011 World Cup – when they lost 11-9 to Australia – have been laid to rest. 

"That was one of the low points of my career. We had high expectations and the campaign was very disappointing and I don't want to repeat that feeling," said Lambie. 

"We have been in a knockout mentality since our second match so we're approaching this match pretty much the same. We want to do our country proud and win at all costs."

Centre Jesse Kriel is one of handful of young faces in the Springbok backline, but he said they were given strong support by a core group of very experienced players.

"We are really lucky where senior players pass on information and experience to us. We try taking as much as we can as younger players, they are always approachable and willing to help us," said Kriel. 

"I'm expecting another hard game this week, it's going to be a challenge for us, a big challenge for them as well," he added. 

"They've obviously got some special players in their side. I think they've got some big strong runners, but I think we've got exactly the same and the players to match that as well.

"In the last couple of weeks we have been in the knockout situations, we know what it takes and we've had to grind it out."

COMMENTS