Ruddock prepared for hurting Boks

Date published: June 15 2016

Ireland flanker Rhys Ruddock has admitted his side are bracing themselves for an early onslaught from a wounded South Africa on Saturday.

After going down 26-20 to the Irish, who had CJ Stander red carded, the Springboks have been licking their wounds for the past few days.

But Ruddock, set to replace the suspended Stander, believes they need to improve their game against Allister Coetzee’s outfit this week.

“The first thing we did when we got to Jo’burg was to review the game and although there were a lot of positives, there were also a lot of things to work on,” he told Sky Sports ahead of the Ellis Park clash.

“That was the key message going into the start of the week – that there’s still another sort of 10 or 15 per cent that we can develop early in this week into a good performance on the weekend.

“The other message is that we know we’re at our best when we’re a little bit fearful of what the team we’re going to be facing is about and what they’re capable of, and that’s why it’s no different this week.”

He added: “We know that South Africa are probably better than they were last week and we know they’re a difficult team to beat.

“So all the focus is going to be on preparing ourselves to the best of our ability, having a clear plan going into the game and being able to execute under the pressure that we’re going to feel on Saturday.

“In defence, obviously we were put under a lot of pressure. We were down to 14 or 13 men for large periods of that game and I think the way the guys dug in in terms of working hard for one another was one of the main positives.

“But that meant that things didn’t always go to plan and we kind of had to improvise a little bit.

“With 15 men on the field hopefully we can really stick to our plan and be even more effective in defence.”