The former Bok lock and rugby commentator Kobus Wiese believes that the Boks should not rely on good luck during the past two games to carry them through on Saturday.
The Springboks had to work extremely hard over the past two weekends to beat France and England by one point each.
“The final is going to be a huge game. The Goats will have to raise their level of play and concentrate in order not to make mistakes. We have one chance and 80 minutes. Such an opportunity only comes once in four years.”
He predicts a victory with five points for the Boks, “but if you want to put money on the score, you have to flip a coin, because it can go either way”.
Wiese, who himself ran against the All Blacks during the 1995 World Cup final, says a final between these two teams is extremely special. “Without taking anyone in the face, the Boks and All Blacks are and have always been the two best teams.”
Daan Human, assistant coach of the Springboks, also says the Boks will have to play significantly better than the previous two games, if they hope to hold up the William Webb Ellis trophy for a fourth time.
“Rugby games are won in 80 minutes, but we know the All Blacks come out of the blocks quickly, so we will work on that.”
He says the Goats can expect a “massive attack” from the Kiwis during the World Cup final. “The All Blacks are a good team in every respect and we can expect a very exciting final. They are good at all levels and better (than us) in the scrum. They are well prepared, with a good front row, and will definitely want to use it to their advantage to try to dominate us like this.”
The Boks returned to the training field on Tuesday and Human says the team is in good spirits.
“There is a good spirit among the team members and everyone is excited. There are lots of families here, which makes the Goats even more excited. We are happy to be in the final and there is a lot of energy in the team.”
Nor is he concerned about the wet conditions in Paris. “Training in the rain on Monday went well and the big men especially enjoyed it. The conditions will be the same for both teams on Saturday, so it doesn’t really matter.”
Human focuses particularly on scrums and says that although he is satisfied with the way the Boks’ scrums have improved over the past four years, there is still room for improvement before Saturday’s game. “Along with the kicking, the scrum is one of the most important cornerstones of our game and we will use it as much as possible. We always want to be better and I still feel we are not quite where we need to be.”
Wiese does not think the Springboks should change anything about their playing pattern, but thinks the Boks should stay focused and not give away possession. “The All Blacks will arrive there on Saturday with great confidence, but the Boks just have to do the basics right. Focus on the recipe and execute it correctly, then you will get the results.”