Schalk Burger (Gallo Images)
Birmingham - South Africa great Schalk
Burger called on the two-time champions to "write off" their stunning
Rugby World Cup defeat by Japan despite calls for the coach Heyneke Meyer to be
"We need to write it off and move
forward as quickly as possible," Burger said as the South Africans moved
base to prepare for their next game against Samoa on Saturday.
Burger said the Springboks have to quickly
rebound. But there is painful soul-searching in their home country.
South Africa's Sunday Times newspaper
predicted "Bok heads to roll" because of the defeat. Even the main
COSATU union said Meyer should go because he relied too much on white players.
The team was expected to close ranks
however for the rest of the World Cup.
Veteran loose forward Burger was in the
back-row for the 34-32 defeat to Japan in Brighton, the biggest upset in World
South Africa are in big trouble in Pool B
if they do not beat Samoa in Birmingham on Saturday.
Burger said South Africa had to analyse and
fix what went wrong so the team can compete against Samoa.
"The first thing to understand is why
we lost, why Japan put us under so much pressure," the 32-year-old Burger
"As soon as we understand what the
weaknesses are that were exposed in that game, we can move forward. That must
"Tomorrow we need to put the game
behind us and focus on Samoa."
Burger said senior players - which includes
several World Cup-winners - needed to help turn things around.
"I know our self-confidence is not
where it should be, but it is up to us as a senior group and a coaching team to
get the guys ready to go out and play," explained Burger, a member of the
South Africa side that beat England in the 2007 World Cup final in Paris.
"We can't just play within our means
against Samoa and think we can win," the 80-times capped Burger said.
"We have to go out there and take the
game from them. It won't be easy. What is quite difficult for us 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."
Burger, who plays club rugby for Japanese
side Suntory Sungoliath, praised Japan's effort as "phenomenal" and a
major move forward for Japanese rugby union and the global game.
"I've got six team-mates that were on
the field and obviously after the match we had a group chat with those who can
understand English, and they're over the moon," Burger said.
"For the last six months they were
targeting us and they got it right. Credit to (coach) Eddie Jones, it was a
"We were on the receiving end and we
will watch this game on the highlights reel for years to come, but for rugby as
a whole and for Japan - hosting the next World Cup - it's the best thing that
could have happened."
However, Burger warned that tough tests
still awaited the Brave Blossoms at this World Cup.
"For Japan the next challenge is
Scotland on Wednesday."
Samoa opened their World Cup campaign with
a 25-16 win over the United States in Brighton on Sunday.