In the pressure cooker situation of a World Cup rugby tournament, there is not necessarily such a thing as an easy match.
A possible upset lurks around every third corner and fifth turn and the Springboks cannot afford to rest on their laurels this afternoon in Bordeaux against Romania.
“We prepare with the same mindset; regardless of our opponents. I know that Romania is a proud rugby country and everyone saw the competitive rugby that Uruguay dished out against France,” warned Mzwandile Stick.
The Springboks’ assistant coach added that the South Africans are ready for action.
“If we don’t fire on all cylinders mentally and physically, it can turn into a difficult day on the playing field. We have respect for them as a team.”
Vincent Koch, who will wear the number three jersey against Romania, knows that the Europeans have a strong forward group.
“I’m looking forward to the duel. It promises to be a physical match; especially among the forwards. They did well against Ireland, scrumming solidly and even stealing a lineout ball or two. Romania have some great players in their team and they will definitely want to show their mettle in the scrums against South Africa,” said the prop.
For his part, Cobus Reinach believes that the Boks also want to improve after their first game against Scotland.
“There are things we want to correct after the Scotland clash and we worked hard on the training pitch. In addition, we expect that Romania will not back down to anyone on the pitch.”
However, the Springboks should still have too much firepower on the field. The match starts this afternoon at 15:00.
Springboks: Willie le Roux (full back), Grant Williams (right wing), Canan Moodie (outside centre), André Esterhuizen (inside centre), Makazole Mapimpi (left wing), Damian Willemse (fly-half), Cobus Reinach (scrum-half), Duane Vermeulen (eighth man), Kwagga Smith (flank), Marco van Staden (flank), Marvin Orie (lock), Jean Kleyn (lock), Vincent Koch (prop), Bongi Mbonambi (captain and hooker) and Ox Nche (prop). Substitutes: Deon Fourie, Steven Kitshoff, Trevor Nyakane, RG Snyman, Jasper Wiese, Jaden Hendrikse, Faf de Klerk and Jesse Kriel.
Romania: Marius Simionescu (full back), Tevita Manumua (right wing), Jason Tomane (outside centre), Taylor Gontineac (inside centre), Nichola Onutu (left wing), Hinckley Vaovasa (fly-half), Gabriel Rupanu (scrum-half), Cristian Chirica (captain and eighth man), Vlad Neculau (flank), André Gorin (flank), Marius Iftimiciuc (lock), Adrian Motoc (lock), Alexandru Gordas (prop), Ovidiu Cojocaru (hook) and Iulian Hartig (prop). Substitutes: Robert Irimescu, Alexandru Savin, Thomas Cretu, Stefan Iancu, Damian Stratila, Cristi Boboc, Alin Conache and Gabriel Pop.