According to Rassie Erasmus, Sunday’s World Cup quarter-final against France offers an opportunity for the Springboks to do something special.
“If you look at what the French have achieved and how they have played in the past few years, it promises to be one of the top matches. And we will have to try to manage things efficiently,” said SA Rugby’s director of rugby.
A top team is not remembered because it settled at a trot with the cannon fodder fifteens; rather, his legacy book gets a few chapters added when he pits his man against formidable opponents.
“When you want to achieve something great, it’s never going to be in perfect situations.”
Erasmus admitted that the Goats will throw everything into the battle to play the French quietly on their home ground.
“Winning is everything and there are different ways to win. Defence, scrums, lineouts and rolling movements will always be important and if you look at where we are in the tournament, things will only get tougher as the pressure builds.”
Earlier, the World Cup-winning coach did not rule out the possibility that the Springbok team could once again boast seven forwards on its substitutes’ bench.
“We are keeping our options open to see if we will choose a 7/1, 6/2 or 5/3 substitute distribution for the game. The coaching group will meet on Wednesday; the French match group will also have an influence on our final team selection.”
The 7/1 split has admittedly come under criticism with Matt Williams denouncing it as an immoral tactic among other things.
But as was his parent’s habit, Erasmus did not pay much attention to others’ comments.
“Our full attention is now on our own game and what we are going to do to be successful in the World Cup tournament. To be honest, we don’t pay much attention to what the other teams are doing or their views.”