Habana expecting fired up Samoa

Date published: September 23 2015

Bryan Habana is expecting a huge physical battle against Samoa on Saturday as South Africa try to get their World Cup campaign back on track.

The Springboks were stunned 34-32 by Japan last Saturday, their first-ever defeat to the Brave Blossoms.

After picking up two losing bonus points, their quarter-final hopes are still very much in their hands, but a second slip-up against Samoa would be fatal to their last eight chances.

And while Samoa have never beaten the Boks, Habana knows they will have taken a lot of confidence from seeing Japan manage to do so, and expects them to play with real intensity.

"Our mental capacity and focus must be both on a higher level and much improved," he told reporters.

"We have had a hard talk and a hard look at each other as individuals and where we stand.

"We are trying to be as positive as possible after what was a rather depressing weekend. It’s about now bouncing back. We all realise how much we let everyone down. 

"But there is still something special within in this squad and so we want to bounce back and install hope again. It will take small steps but it starts on Saturday.

"Our past games against Samoa have always been physical and of a high intensity. From minute one to minute 80 we have to realise we’ll be in a tough game. We must be prepared not only for ruck time but collisions in defence and attack. They come and they keep on coming for 80 minutes.

"They pride themselves on their physical approach. These guys (Samoa) will probably take a lot of confidence out of what happened to us last Saturday. But I really do believe we can come out successfully on Saturday.

"It was one of the toughest days for many of us in our rugby careers. But we can’t change the past."