Burger calls for calm ahead of Samoa

Date published: September 21 2015

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_GettyImages-489131468

Veteran South African loose forward Schalk Burger called on the Springboks to refocus and move on from Saturday's shock loss to Japan.

Japan's stunning upset suddenly puts South Africa in a situation where they will have to win this weekend to kickstart their World Cup hopes.

Burger, who started at number eight, paid tribute to Japan but also admitted that the Springboks would be watching the video of Saturday's shock defeat "for years to come."

“Let’s take a step back and give credit to the Japanese team. They have prepared for this game for six months and they played out of their skins," said Burger.

“Obviously our plans have changed now for this World Cup. Tomorrow we focus on how we go forward. Six days from now we go into a game against Samoa which is potentially our final of the World Cup.

“Today we are getting over what went on yesterday. We will not dwell on it for too long. We have to get in a good frame of mind. We have to put in the hard yards. It’s not time to go back into our shells.

“We have to take this competition by the scruff of the neck. We have a tough week ahead.

“Japan got it right and all credit to them. We never put them under enough pressure to get them out of their comfort zone.

“We were on the receiving end and we are going to have to watch the highlight reels of that for years and years to come.”   

South Africa's players and head coach Heyneke Meyer have come under heavy fire back home, which Burger hopes they can use to their advantage.

“I think everyone has a different opinion. I try to remain oblivious to it," he added.

“But I know there have been some photos going around. There was one good one which had the Japanese captain Michael Leitch saying ‘last week I ate sushi and this week I ate Springbok'.

“We'll probably use that as a bit of motivation."

Springbok vice-captian Victor Matfield said they only way for his team to answer their crictics was to win the World Cup. 

"It is very difficult, but we have to fix it," said Matfield.  

"It’s the only thing we can do. We have a big game against a very good Samoan team, so we have to go and look at ourselves and go and fix it.

"It’s two bad losses this year for South Africa this year and that is unacceptable.

"We need to fix it, and there is only one way to fix it, and that is to win this World Cup, and that won’t be easy. We cannot focus on anything else except for next week.

"Next week is going to be enormous for this team and we have to get it right."

COMMENTS