BOKS OFFICE: 'We like to have our backs against the wall'
WATCH as the Boks Office team count down the days to the World Cup Final in Paris.
Boks Office host Hanyani Shimange is joined by South African legends John Smit and Schalk Brits to preview the Final between South Africa and New Zealand.
Below are just some of their comments or watch the video!
On the final:
Brits: “This particular squad has been building from 2019 and the focus was never [to win] 2019, it was 2023. It has been the hardest, no disrespect to 2007 or 2019, to go through what we have done and play all those big teams.”
Smit: “Saturday would mean we have played the top-six teams ranked in the world through this World Cup. That is insane. This is a tough road to get to this final.”
On South Africa liking the underdogs tag:
Brits: “The South African perspective is we like to have our backs against the wall. We want to be the underdogs. That is what Rassie [Erasmus] will say.”
Smit: “I think it has to do with where we come from, we are quite resilient. We always feel back home we are fighting through something, for something. Things aren’t always comfortable, it can be a struggle back home for a lot of people.
“Our mentality is to always knuckle down and rise up against adversity and overcome. That is why I think we fit into that seat a little bit around ‘stuff them, we want to climb up that mountain’. The worst thing for us is to sit on top and talk about how good we are.”
On New Zealand:
Smit: “I don’t think they will make many changes. I would say they are at their best in the team they picked against Argentina.
“Their semi-final, without doubt, helps them in the final. There wasn’t half the amount of intensity or physicality. Take the body, what they went through v Argentina compared to what our guys went through for 80 minutes. We have a day shorter. They will definitely rock up more physically restored.”
Brits: “I couldn’t understand why [Brodie] Retallick was playing off the bench, he made a massive impact. Retallick is, for me, one of the best players. He brings a different dimension to New Zealand.”