Rugby World Cup 2011

Boks to keep focus - Alberts

2011-09-19 11:01
Willem Alberts (Gallo)

Taupo - The variety of out-door activities on offer in and around Taupo will not distract the Springboks from their goal of winning the Rugby World Cup, Springbok forward Willem Alberts said on Monday.

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"I don’t think it is too difficult when you are in a World Cup to keep the focus and to know what job has to be done," said Alberts, a passionate angler.

Some of the tourist attractions available in the picturesque setting where the South African squad is based, include power boat rides, bungee jumping, snowboarding, some of the best trout fishing in the world and four superb golf courses - all within 10 minutes drive of Lake Taupo.

Alberts may not be one for the Jack Nicklaus signature course, but since his recent move from the Johannesburg-based Lions to the Sharks rugby team, he admitted fishing had started to take up more and more of his spare time.

On tour, however, opportunities to cast lines have been limited as team training sessions have taken priority.

The versatile forward was of the view that all work and no play was not the way to go and the players also needed to enjoy the New Zealand experience.

He thought many of the activities could double as team building exercises.

"It is good for the guys to see another country and a place like Lake Taupo and to do a couple of things outside of rugby that binds the team together.

"This is a wonderful experience on and off the field and you have to embrace everything you can."

Returning to the matter of rugby, Alberts said the Springboks needed to be very accurate at the tackle area going forward and they had to continue improving in that facet of the game.

"I think some of the teams will try to target us at the breakdown, so we will have to work hard there, at that aspect of our play, in the coming games," he said.

During last week’s 49-3 victory over Fiji, Alberts came on in the second half and replaced Bakkies Botha in the second row.

His physical approach, a contributing factor to the try he scored in his Test debut against Wales, was again on display during the Wellington match.

He was expected to be included in the team to be announced on Tuesday, and said he would happily play at any position as long as he gets to wear the green-and-gold.

"I will help out wherever I am needed when I play for South Africa, but I think the [injured] guys will be ready soon although we don’t know what the plans will be for this week."

Alberts’ preferred position is at the back of the scrum although he has been used more at flank.

"I almost played a half at lock last week," he said.

"It used to be where I played in my junior years so it was not new to me."

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