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Du Preez: It’s a whole new ball game on Saturday

The Springbok captain, Fourie du Preez

The Springbok captain, Fourie du Preez

SPRINGBOK captain Fourie du Preez said on Friday that whatever happened in the past, at the Rugby World Cup, at Twickenham or between South Africa and Wales, will have no bearing on Saturday’s first quarter-final in London.

Du Preez was asked if his team’s solid recent record at Twickenham and their good overall record against Wales will have any bearing on Saturday’s match, but the Springbok captain did not agree.

“After four tough weeks of the World Cup it’s great to finally be here at Twickenham,” said Du Preez.

“I have not played here since 2009 and although the Boks have done well here in recent years, it doesn’t count. Neither does the overall record against Wales, or even what has happened at the World Cup up until now.

“We’re both on zero and we’re just excited about a massive challenge that awaits us on Saturday against a very good Welsh side.

“They are very much a gain-line team and like to rush on defence, while they also have quite a lot of big backs, so the aerial battle will be huge. Our challenge is to prepare for those things and to put it into action on the pitch at 16h00 tomorrow.”

Du Preez said all four quarter-finals will be tough encounters and praised his team-mates for the way in which they bounced back after the defeat in round one against Wales.

“At this stage of the competition, any team can beat any other team,” he said. “Al four playoff games will be massive and any four teams can go through, but we’re just focused on our game.

“Losing against Japan a month ago was obviously a massive shock but after that game it could have gone much worse. We could have lost three times in a row and been the worst Springbok team of all time.

“I am very proud how each of the guys stood up. We had a decision to make, we could have laid down or stood up, and we stood up.”-www.sarugby.co.za


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