VIDEO: 'You have to accept he might run over you'
Utility forward Kwagga Smith said the two #BIG Ds – discipline and defence – will be key for South Africa in their final World Cup pool match against a troublesome Tongan team in Marseille on Sunday.
The Springboks, in the wake of their deflating 8-13 loss to Ireland last Saturday, require a bonus-point win and a substantial points differential to put them in a commanding position to advance from the pool into the play-offs.
Smith, 30, said losing to Ireland was a ‘bitter pill to swallow.
“However, we don’t want to dwell too much on the loss,” he said, adding: “The sun is shining and we can’t do anything about the loss.
“The positive is that it wasn’t for the World Cup [Final].
“It was an important game, but we can focus on the next game – Tonga [in Marseille on Sunday].
“We must ensure we get those five points, so we will go into that game with the mindset of getting a bonus point.
“For us also, they’re a physical team so to play against them will be great for us to know that our physicality is also at the highest level.”
He said discipline is going to be vital against the brutally physical Tongan team.
(WATCH as seasoned Springbok utility Kwagga Smith talks about the key aspects of the game in Sunday’s World Cup Pool B match against Tonga in Marseille…)
The Springboks average just on eight penalties per game and they are determined to keep that measure in single digits.
“There are a lot of yellow and red cards going around at the World Cup,” he said, adding: “Officials are helped by the technology.
“We will focus on our discipline – ensure we don’t get issued a red or a yellow card.
“At this stage of the competition that would be a big setback.”
Having spent five years on the Seven World Series circuit, with 150-odd appearances for the BlitzBoks before making the switch to the 15-a-side code, the 36-times capped Bok is familiar with all the brutality and guile that come with facing teams from the Pacific Islanders.
He pointed out that he also faces a substantial number of Pacific Islanders when he plays for the Blue Revs in Japan’s League One.
“They are really good players,” he told @rugby365com, adding: “You have to accept that he might run over you.
“It is what it is.
“They are really good players.”
He said the Boks pride themselves on their defence.
“We must use our systems and not go solo.
“If you try and be a hero, you might end up being a villain.
“We must stick to our structure and play as a team.”