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Meyer hopes beers are on him

2015-10-21 15:31
Heyneke Meyer

Guildford -South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer wants to be the man buying drinks for New Zealand counterpart Steve Hansen after Saturday's World Cup semi-final as it means the Springboks will have triumphed at Twickenham.

Meyer and Hansen may be in charge of two of world rugby's fiercest rivals but have formed a strong friendship since the South African became Springbok coach in 2012.

"We've started a tradition where the first time I'd lost (to New Zealand) I was very down, Steve came over - and I think that's great about rugby - and bought me a beer.

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"He said 'listen, I know how you feel, I know the pressure on you, just have a beer with me'. And I really respect that," explained Meyer after naming his side to play the All Blacks.

"We'd lost that game, the second game we played away was very close and we lost that game as well, and he came looking for me with another beer afterwards.

"He gave it to me and we started talking about his family, and his wife, and we know we're under the same pressure.

"We're proud countries. He's got to know my family, I've got to know his family.

"The winning coach always brings the beer now. I said the first time we beat you I'll bring you a case of beer.

"So what I really respect about Steve is that after our win (when South Africa beat New Zealand 27-25 in Johannesburg last year) he took it like a man, and said 'I'm waiting for that beer'.

"Hopefully, I can give Steve a case of beers on Saturday!" said Meyer, seeking just his second win in eight matches against Hansen's New Zealand.

Meyer, 48, is one of the most visibly emotional coaches in world rugby, seeming to 'live' every missed tackle or chance with his side.

"If I did that I'd probably have a heart attack. I don't know how he hasn't had one," joked the 56-year-old Hansen, promoted from assistant to head coach when Graham Henry stood down after guiding the All Blacks to World Cup glory on home soil four years ago, earlier this week.

But Meyer, to whom Hansen sent a supportive text message following South Africa's shock defeat by Japan in their World Cup opener, said he would need to keep his emotions in check.

Sports psychologist Pieter Kruger has been brought in to the Springbok squad in a bid to keep the players on an even keel.

Meanwhile Meyer said he had to tone down his own impassioned style.

"I've made mistakes as a coach in over-motivating the guys, because everyone wants to do something different against the All Blacks.

"But you've just go to keep doing what you do, the belief is there that we can beat any team on our day.

"We just have to go there, don't put too much emotion on it, just be very, very excited and go and play.

"If you do too much off-field then that's where the players start to wonder."


South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez (captain), 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Victor Matfield, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein

New Zealand:


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