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Samoans ready for Bok backlash

2015-09-20 17:58
Tim Nanai-Williams (AP)

Brighton - Samoa will fight fire with fire as South Africa come at them "all guns blazing" in their Pool B match next Saturday said the Pacific side's coach Stephen Betham.

Betham, speaking after a workmanlike opening 25-16 victory over the United States in on Sunday, believes Japan's stunning 34-32 triumph over the Springboks had been a huge jolt for the major nations.

"The tier one nations have got a wake cup call from yesterday and our surprise factor has gone," said Betham, who claimed they had not watched the match only seen the result at the end.

"They will come at us with all guns blazing.

"We're going to give it everything and we'll be ready for the backlash."

Betham, however, didn't believe that the Japanese victory had changed the dynamics of the pool which his team are seeded to take one of the two places in the quarter-finals, which would be the third time in their history but first since 1995.

"I don't think it changes anything," he said.

"If anything it has woken up everybody. This is a World Cup and every team brings its best," he said.

But Betham is not sure the gap is narrowing significantly.

"We look for consistency in pour performances and we haven't struck that yet. One week we play well and then the next we don't."

Betham said that one thing which would be key against the 'Boks, who like the Samoans like to mix it physically, would be his team keeping their cool as they did on Sunday. Discipline has been a bugbear for them in the past.

Indeed Japan coach Eddie Jones had said he would be prepared to pay for a ticket to the game in Birmingham which he predicted would be a bash festival.

"The number one positive from today was was our discipline," said Betham.

"If we can keep all 15 people on the park then we have a chance.

"I am satisfied today because I think it is one of first games with nobody of our side being sin-binned, so it is a good start.

"We will build on that. We know if we don't keep our discipline we will be on the back foot but we have been working really hard on that."

American counterpart Mike Tolkin was disappointed with the lack of discipline shown by his team, which cost them dearly in terms of points, and on missing out on a bonus point.

But for conceding a load of penalties they matched the Samoans in tries scored, two apiece, including the best try of the match, by captain Chris Wyles created by impressive Ireland-born fly-half AJ MacGinty.

Tolkin still held out hope that they could snatch their first ever spot in the last eight.

"We just need to take our chances," said Tolkin.

"We didn't take a beating and were on the front foot for a lot of the game.

"We just have to capitalise on the chances we create."

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