Springboks face long wait for quarterfinal

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Some of their players will have gone 16 days without a game, and others 12, such has been the way their draw has worked out.

 

But coach Rassie Erasmus has another problem: he won't know until Sunday which one of three possible opponents South Africa will face.

 

Captain and flanker Siya Kolisi was confident the long break wouldn't affect the side.

 

Having admitted before their game against Canada that his Stormers side often struggled after a bye in Super Rugby, he was confident the same wouldn't apply ahead of the quarterfinals.

 

"We are heading into the deciding phase of the competition now and we are very excited as a team.

 

"We actually appreciate the extra week we have to prepare," he said.

 

"It gives us time to look properly at the other teams. We will be watching pictures unfold and formulating what we need to do to beat whoever we play in the quarterfinal.

 

"The thing is that from now on, if you don't pitch up you go home and we all know that. It introduces an edge. We look forward to watching the other teams play this weekend and seeing what they bring and what we will be up against," he said.

 

Erasmus said his players would have two days off before being asked to watch the games that will sort out who will be South Africa's opponent, and analyse the teams.

 

"I will do my own analysis while the players are off over the next two days, and then at the weekend we will start training again and also watch the other matches together. It will be quite exciting to watch the games together, we will make a bit of a thing of it and generate a bit of excitement around it," he said.

 

"Then on the Monday we will put together what we feel we learnt from the last pool games and start using it as we go into what will be a normal Test match week," he said.

 

Erasmus was uncertain which team he would prefer to play. He said having played Japan in a warm-up game before the tournament they had studied them in depth and while their game would have evolved since then it would be a case of taking a refresher on them.

 

"But we will not just assume which team we are playing against and focus too much on them right now.

 

"In 2011, when I was technical adviser in the Bok management team, we prepared a lot to play against Ireland in the quarterfinal, but then we ended up playing against Australia. We won't make that same mistake again," he said.

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