Cape Town - One of Duane Vermeulen's major attributes on the field of play is his strength, and he is trying his best to mirror that characteristic off the field as well.
The Springbok No 8 was given the unenviable task of chatting to media at Wednesday's official team announcement as the side prepares for Friday night's Bronze Final against Argentina at the Olympic Stadium.
It is safe to say that interest in the Springbok World Cup campaign has diminished since last weekend's semi-final loss to New Zealand dashed hopes of a World Cup final, and while that match was tough for supporters to take, it would have been even tougher on the players.
Vermeulen agrees that the last week has been a difficult one, but he was trying desperately on Thursday to put it all into perspective.
"Everyone goes through different stuff. In rugby, yes, one of
the most difficult weeks but (I’ve) gone through a couple of setbacks and a
couple of things in life and you learn from those mistakes and you become a
stronger person," he said.
"So I think in the end you know how to go into a week like this
and how to get yourself up.
"I think for me it's an easy mind-set. Some guys can take it differently but, like I always do, I just want to go out there and play. So for me personally I can make that mind switch."
Vermeulen said that the atmosphere at training this week had been positive despite the loss to New Zealand.
think we had a good training. There were some parts we knew to work on,
especially exiting out of our half," he said.
"There was a good vibe at training and
everything went well. You need to put what happened on the weekend behind you
as quickly as possible. There is still one game to play and we want to end on a
Kick-off on Friday is at 22:00.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein
15 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Nicolas Sanchez (captain), 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Javier Ortega Desio, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matas Alemanno, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Julian Montoya, 1 Marcos Ayerza
Substitutes: 16 Lucas Noguera, 17 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Facundo Isa, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23 Juan Pablo Socino