No need to panic, insists Lood ahead of Namibia clash
24 September 2019 11:39

‘The Ruck’ – Sport24’s Rugby World Cup talk show – Ep 2

Sport24 journalist Lloyd Burnard and chief writer Rob Houwing discuss this past weekend’s Springbok loss to the All Blacks.

Cape Town – Springbok lock Lood de Jager insisted that South Africa won’t get ahead of themselves in this year’s Rugby World Cup.

Despite losing to the All Blacks in their opening game, De Jager insists that the Springboks are not in panic mode ahead of their next Pool B match against neighbours, Namibia.

“I wouldn’t call it a reset button. We’ve been doing well the whole year – we’ve been very consistent. One game, where the opposition were also good and you lost, it doesn’t make you all of a sudden panic about anything,” said De Jager in a press conference.

“We have to win every other pool game, so it’s about focusing on Namibia this week, and controlling what we can control. From (playing) at previous World Cups, you can’t get too far ahead of yourself.”

Four years ago, Japan produced the greatest upset in the history of rugby union by pulling off a thrilling 34-32 victory over South Africa in Brighton.

De Jager believes that this World Cup will be different from 2015 and the Springboks won’t let another upset happen again.

“We’ve seen that at the previous World Cup, losing to Japan. The only difference is that we were expected to beat Japan, and didn’t,” said De Jager.

“Obviously we really believed we could beat New Zealand – the last few games, the score was 82-82. Losing to them, they were the better team on the day.

“Going back (to 2015), after losing to Japan, we still had two big games, against Samoa and Scotland, and if you look on paper (in 2019), New Zealand are the toughest opposition in the pool. It’s a long tournament, so you just want to take it game by game.”

Play on Saturday gets underway at 11:45 SA time.

Compiled by Lynn Butler