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Bok star shocked by Ireland's RWC arrogance

SPOTLIGHT: Springbok superstar Eben Etzebeth said he was surprised by Ireland’s arrogance after their World Cup pool match in France last year.


Ireland secured a 13-8 win over the Boks before going on to secure top spot in Pool B with the Boks finishing second.

The Springboks eventually went on to win another title after they beat the All Blacks in the Final, while the Irish fell short in the quarterfinal stage when they lost 24-28 to Ian Foster’s side.

In an interview with Jim Hamilton on the latest Rugby Pod episode, Etzebeth recalled what some of the Ireland players told him after that pool match in Saint-Denis.

“After the game, you shake the guys’ hands and probably 12 out of the 23 told me, ‘See you guys in the Final’,” said Etzebeth.

“My immediate thought was because of the way the logs worked, we were going to play France and they were going to play New Zealand.

“My immediate thought was, ‘Are these guys seriously not even thinking about the All Blacks in a World Cup quarterfinal, playing against them?’.


“That remark that they made – ‘see you guys in the Final’. I just thought these guys were making a big mistake to look past probably the most dominant team in the last 20 to 30 years of Test rugby. Surely, they can’t.

“We would never say that because we knew we’ve got the host nation and we were going to have to pitch up to beat France in their backyard.

“It just felt like they were just so confident saying things like that when you know you got the mighty All Blacks coming up in a World Cup quarterfinal.”

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Etzebeth added: “I think Frans Malherbe was with me and I said, ‘Í don’t know if these guys are riding a bit high’.

“Obviously, it is good to be confident, but you can never be arrogant in this game.

“You can have the best season and you can have one slip-up or one missed tackle and a guy puts you on your a*se.

“That’s the beauty of this game, you are never on top forever.”

The Springboks and Ireland will meet again in a two-Test series in South Africa in July.

Source: The Rugby Pod

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