Rassie unconcerned by Boks’ long break

South Africa's players celebrate after winning the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between South Africa and Canada at the Kobe Misaki Stadium in Kobe on October 8, 2019.
South Africa's players celebrate after winning the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between South Africa and Canada at the Kobe Misaki Stadium in Kobe on October 8, 2019.
Image: Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

The Springboks’ 12-day break between their last pool match and their Rugby World Cup (RWC) quarterfinal does not concern coach Rassie Erasmus.

Often teams can lose their edge when they are inactive for a week or longer and it has frequently been noted in Super Rugby how teams’ momentum is broken by a bye in Super Rugby.

“We will start on Friday and prepare our analysis on both teams‚” said Erasmus. “We will watch the game together‚” he said about Scotland’s crunch RWC pool A encounter against Japan on Sunday.

“When you watch and analyse those games together it is quite exciting not knowing who you are going to play.

“I guess we can make a bit of a thing about it. That will spice it up a little. From Monday we will have a normal Test match week – well a little bit longer [because the Boks’ likely quarterfinal will be Sunday next week].

“We have been together for 16 weeks. I think we know how to handle each other. We’ve had four-day turnarounds‚ 10-day turnarounds.

“We’ve had the Rugby Championship‚ so we know how to handle each other. We’re okay.”

Captain Siya Kolisi pointed to the major difference between having a bye in Super Rugby as opposed to a break in the RWC.

“We are very excited. It gives us an extra week to prepare. In Super Rugby you have another opportunity the next week. In this competition from now on for us‚ if you don’t pitch up‚ you go home‚” he said.

Meanwhile super typhoon Hagibis‚ which is breezing across the Pacific en route to Japan‚ is expected to weaken by the time it makes landfall over the weekend.

Hagibis was a tropical storm before it rapidly intensified and was upgraded to a Category 5 typhoon. It caught meteorologists’ attention and World Rugby and the local organising committee are considering their options for the weekend.

According to the tournament rules pool matches that cannot be played on the day they are scheduled will be cancelled with both teams sharing the points.

“World Rugby‚ Japan Rugby 2019 and our weather information experts continue to closely monitor the direction and strength of typhoon Hagibis (typhoon 19)‚” the LOC said in a statement.

“It remains too early to fully predict the movement and impact of the storm‚ however the latest modelling by our weather information experts indicates that it is now tracking north and east and will bring strong winds and heavy rain to Tokyo and surrounding areas on 12 October.

“Public and team safety is our number one priority. While we have robust contingency plans in place for pool matches‚ such plans‚ if required‚ will only be actioned if the safety of teams‚ fans‚ and workforce can be guaranteed. It would be inappropriate to comment on any contingency plans at this stage.

“We will continue to closely monitor this developing situation in partnership with our weather information experts‚ local authorities‚ transport providers and the teams‚ and will provide a further update tomorrow. Fans are advised to monitor official Rugby World Cup channels for any updates.”

The problem is‚ by the time fans are advised the storm may have arrived.

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