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Burger: Samoa match 'a final'

2015-09-20 20:32
Schalk Burger (Gallo Images)

Birmingham - South Africa's Schalk Burger on Sunday urged his team-mates not withdraw into their "shells" after a stunning defeat by Japan in their World Cup opener.

The veteran loose forward was in the back-row as the Springboks were beaten 34-32 in a sensational match in Brighton on Saturday -- a result widely considered to be the biggest upset in World Cup history.

Now South Africa face the real risk of not getting out of Pool B if they don't win their next group stage match, against Samoa in Birmingham on Saturday.

"What is needed is not to go back into our shells, but rather take this competition by the scruff of its neck and go out and win this match," the 32-year-old Burger said at South Africa's hotel.

Burger said the two-time world champions could not dwell on the defeat for too long, despite massive criticism back home in South Africa and calls for coach Heyneke Meyer to be fired, as they still have three pool games left.

"Our plan for the World Cup has changed a bit. This weekend is what counts," Burger said.

"This is almost like a final against Samoa and there is not a lot of time to turn it around and how we get a good result against Samoa," the 80-times capped Burger added.

"We can't dwell on it too long, because in six days from now we're playing a massive game that could define our World Cup."

Samoa beat the United States 25-16 in their Pool B opener in Brighton on Sunday to start their World Cup on a positive note.

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