Bok underdogs 'hungry'
Dublin - Springbok captain Victor Matfield says not a lot of people are giving the Springboks a chance of beating Ireland, but this only makes them hungrier for a victory.
“We haven’t won here in ten years. We have job to do and we are focusing on it. We are not concerned if we are the favourites or the underdogs. The only thing that we are worried about is the way we play and we need to get a result on Saturday. We had a little chat this morning about believing in ourselves. We might not have the most experienced side but we believe we have enough talent to pull this one through,” Matfield said on Friday.
The Bok captain believes only arriving three days before the game has not hampered his side’s preparations in any way.
“I think it was the same last year. It is tough especially with the guys that played in the Currie Cup final last week. Some celebrated while others were a bit down, but I believe the guys will be ready. We had three good days of training in South Africa and were are happy with the way things went at the captains run today,” he explained.
Asked if he thought there was a difference between the way the game is played in the Northern and Southern hemisphere, he said: “In think rugby will always stay rugby. It’s all about accuracy and energy on the field. Hopefully we can get back to that and play the way we should be playing.”
On his battle with the Irish Locks he said: “I had a look at them in the games they played against Australia. Any lock coached by Gert Smal will be good opposition. I have had to do a lot of homework and it will be tough to play against them.”
Former Springbok-scrumhalf, Dan Van Zyl, who has been living in Ireland for eight years, handed over the Springbok jerseys on Friday.
Matfield said he started his Springbok career with Van Zyl as his captain in a midweek game against Argentina in 2000.
“Dan talked a little bit about what the Irish will bring to the game. He also told us what it meant for him to put on a Springbok jersey and encouraged those guys who will be wearing the jersey for the first time. He told them to enjoy every minute playing for the Boks because you never know if it could be your last.”