Boks on Tour

Div: We're not out for revenge

2009-11-23 22:38
Peter de Villiers (Gallo Images)
J.J. Harmse

Dublin - With the American superstar, Beyoncé, in town wowing crowds in the city for the past two days, nobody can blame the rugby media here for describing Saturday's Test as a "revenge match" and the "clash of the best of the North and South"

The Springboks are reluctant to post too much about this match, and according to their coach, Pieter de Villiers, this Test will be same as any other which the South Africans have played this year.

"We are definitely not seeing this as a clash between the champions of the Six Nations and the champions of the Tri-Nations. This is nothing more than any other Test we have had to play this year.

"The Springboks are role models in South Africa and winning on the rugby field give the country hope and make the people optimistic. This is exactly what we are aiming to achieve again on Saturday. This remains our goal in every Test, regardless of the opposition."

In retaliation after the British and Irish Lions' tour, De Villiers stated clearly that the visitors showed bad manners by refusing to visit the Bok changing room.

"We invited them for something cold afterward, but they never came. Maybe they do not like South African beer, but we have no reason to get back at any Irish player," said De Villiers.

He also did not want to react to the views of the Irish captain, Brian O'Driscoll, earlier this year that De Villiers brought the game into disrepute.

This statement followed after De Villers refused to condemn Schalk Burger's alledged eye gouging as a punishable offence during the Test series between the British and Irish Lions and the Springboks.

"I will not react on that. O'Driscoll has the right to express his opinion, just like half the Irish population think that Paul O'Connell should captain the Irish," said De Villiers.

"It was probably a sensitive topic for him because there were three instances of eye gouging in Ireland in the recent past and Schalk was found innocent of such an accusation." (He was still suspended for the incident.)

De Villiers said that he would rather focus on getting his team emotionally and physically ready for the match. "Last year before the last match we just about did not practice, because the guys were tired. This time we do not have much of a choice because of injuries. Hopefully it works out for us again.

He is worried that the injuries will influence his choices on the reserve bench.

"There are combinations in the starting line-up and on the bench which could be affected."

De Villiers also believes that the perception that Bok scrum is weak, is not true. "We pass judgment too easily, because this is simply not one Test where you push back the guys in every scrum.

"Our pack gained a lot of self-confidence out of that one scrum in the second half (against Italy) when we absolutely crushed them, (Martin) Castrogiovanni included."

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