Gray not underestimating Boks

Date published: October 2 2015

Scotland lock Richie Gray will not underestimate South Africa ahead of their highly anticipated Pool B fixture at St. James' Park on Saturday.

The home nation is currently three points clear of the Springboks at the top of the Pool B standings, having already accumulated two wins in this competition. The Springboks co-wrote the story of the World Cup during the first week of the tournament, when they were defeated by Japan in Brighton.

While the popular opinion might be that the South Africans have some weaknesses, Gray thinks they are not to be trifled with under any circumstances.

"It's a huge challenge facing a very good South Africa side who will be hurting," said Gray ahead of the fixture.  

"But we've been building well. Two good wins have set us in a nice position in the pool. If we can go out and deliver the performance we know we're capable of we've got a chance. But it will be a brutal test match," added Gray.

The permutations in this pool are actually quite fascinating and given what has transpired thus far, a considerable amount could still happen. The United States and Japan can still throw the proverbial spanner in the works.

During Scotland's matches against the USA and Japan, they struggled to start quickly and Gray admits that might be an issue against the Springboks, who tend to get stronger as the match progresses. 

"Maybe in the first two games we were slow to get out of the blocks. And if you do that against South Africa after 15, 20 minutes you could be 15 points, 20 points down on the scoreboard," added Gray. 

"We can't afford to let that happen. We need to start the match fully-focused coming out of the traps and we've got to keep it going for 80 minutes. It will take a complete performance," he said.