Du Preez: ‘We have old heads’

Date published: October 9 2015

Fourie du Preez believes South Africa's experienced campaigners have the wherewithal to adapt to the referee, which could prove key in the knock-out stages.

The Springboks will face either Australia or Wales in their quarter-final clash next Saturday.

In 2011, South Africa lost in controversial fashion to Australia in the last eight after an indifferent performance from referee Bryce Lawrence. Du Preez insists this will not happen again. 

"On the day, we need to adapt to the referee… set-pieces have to work and defence has to work," the former Bulls scrum-half told Reuters.

"It has for the last three games. Our ball carriers are getting over the advantage line and we are doing better in terms of finishing. All those aspects must be firing on the day, and the decision-making must be better.

"We have got older heads, so there is no reason why we can't do it."

Since their shock loss in their opening fixture against Japan, the Springboks have bounced back strongly with three convincing victories. However, du Preez insists the team is taking it one game at a time.

"We can't look further than the quarter-final," added the 33-year-old, who is usually a man of few words. 

"That was one of our mistakes with the Japan game and we learnt a hard lesson from it. All our focus will be on our next game, whoever that will be.

"We will need to be a lot better, and we know that, but it is a process."