What really rocked the Boks
WORLD CUP SPOTLIGHT: South African captain Siyamthanda Kolisi revealed he was “excited but scared” after an earthquake in the Shizuoka region of Japan in the early hours of Wednesday.
Kolisi felt the tremors at the hotel where the South Africa team are staying before their crunch World Cup fixture against Italy at the Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa in Fukuroi on Friday.
“I felt it,” Kolisi told the traditional captain’s media briefing.
“[Wing] Cheslin [Kolbe] was sleeping and snoring, so I thought it was him!
“It was something different,” he said of the seismic activity that measured 4.1 on the Richter scale.
“I have never felt anything like that. I was excited but scared at the same time.”
Earthquakes are a regular occurrence in Japan, which experiences 1500 tremors a year, of which around as many as 450 are qualified as earthquakes.
The Springboks started their Pool B campaign by losing 13-23 to defending champions New Zealand, but bounced back to inflict a heavy (57-3) defeat on Namibia last week.
The high stakes challenge posed by Italy in Friday’s Pool B clash has been welcomed by Kolisi.
The Springboks must win their showdown in Shizuoka against the Azzurri to keep alive their hopes of reaching the competition’s play-offs.
Defeat would mean an early return home.
“Every game is a knockout game for us now,” the Bok captain said.
“If we slip up we’re out of the competition so we’ve been incredibly focused.
“In a way, we’re fortunate that we get to play knockouts earlier than normal – that’s how we see this game. I know they have also prepared specially for this game – it’s one of those games you want to be playing in as a player.
“As a team, we have prepared as well as we could; we have trained well and we’re really confident in our plan.”