Wales ready for Bok challenge

2011-09-03 15:31

Wellington - Wales coach Warren Gatland has promised they will field their strongest possible side to face champions South Africa in their opening Rugby World Cup pool match in Wellington on September 11.

Wales are in a Pool D also featuring Fiji, who knocked them out at the group stage in France four years ago, and a Samoa side who recently beat highly-fancied Australia.

But New Zealander Gatland insisted there was no way his adopted country would keep their powder dry against the Springboks in order to concentrate on the threat posed by the Pacific Island nations.

And he said Wales were looking forward to playing South Africa first, despite the Springboks well-known qualities.

They are very good at what they do," Gatland said at Wales's hotel on Saturday. "They put the ball up in the air and use power runners. We pretty well know what we are going to get.

"They'll play to their strengths and that's what they are good at doing. They are certainly a hard side to beat. But playing them first up in this competition is a great opportunity for us."

Wales go into the match on the back of warm-up wins against England, runners-up to South Africa four years ago, and Argentina, third in 2007.

But Wales have beaten South Africa just once in their history and have lost their last 12 matches against the Springboks.

Gatland said: "It's been a great couple of months having the players together as a squad and we are pretty happy with the way the August games went. We are really in pretty good shape.

"The last three times we have played them (South Africa) there's been very little in the scores. We have scored them seven tries to six. Now we've just got to get over the final hurdle and get that win."

The former Ireland coach added: "We can match their forwards. We are going to put out the strongest side we can. I don't think that in the last few times we've played them we have been far away from them as a team.

"It's one game at a time for us and we have got a squad capable of winning these games," Gatland said.

"If we can get out of the group stage then we are in good shape for the quarters and even the semis."


  • silverflash - 2011-09-03 15:57

    what a idiot lol , weak attempt at playing mind games..

      odysseus - 2011-09-03 19:21

      yea he has alot to say, old Gatland.... so let's see... can't wait!

      Kleinboet - 2011-09-04 00:13

      "If we can get out of the group stage …' Do you doubt you ability to do so, Mr Gatland? Even losing by a single point is LOSING!

      taff123 - 2011-09-04 19:00

      south africa have never played mind games ,they slate australia, new zeland england its just a bit of fun.

  • soetdoring - 2011-09-03 16:06

    The Boks are experienced enough not to be distracted by these mind games.

  • silverflash - 2011-09-03 16:06

    Hope the Boks thrash the Welsh .. Go Boks !!!!!!!!!

  • AnimalFarm - 2011-09-03 16:11

    Warren gaan sy GAT-LAND sien!!

  • Jack - 2011-09-03 16:13

    I hope Gatland keeps on thinking like this and planning for the game he describes. Then there will be a nasty surpirse waiting, as the Boks are playing a far more expansive game these days. And from Durban, to PE, you can see it starting to come together. Those high bombs - keep on planning for the, boyo!

  • EDI2000 - 2011-09-03 16:14

    Pffffffff.....!!!! What a joke the Boks are going to grind these impudent Welsh into the hard Wellington turf so badly their childrens children will still be sprouting grass from all their orifices....

      odysseus - 2011-09-04 09:32


      taff123 - 2011-09-04 18:36

      how pathetic, write something worth reading.

  • Johann - 2011-09-03 16:42

    And some of our Bok supporters think PDivy is an idiot, how else but his best "real rugby players" will be good enough for a win .............. hope he has some real rugby players. SHUT THIS MAN UP BOKKE !!!!

  • Gomez - 2011-09-03 16:45

    I am not the coach of the Welsh team and even I know they are not ready.You dont say to a team who you have only beaten 1 time in your whole history that you are ready fro them.You would would rather say we have prepared better than ever before or something like that but not that you are ready....Drive them into the ground Bokke!!!

  • FanieWP - 2011-09-03 17:17

    Passop ! Hulle het niks om te verloor nie !!

  • Anon - 2011-09-03 17:25

    The perfect mind game is not to respond to this idiots claims and not to say anything about the opener against Wales. Please take note Snorr and Co

  • Kevin - 2011-09-03 19:47

    Saw Wales practising. They were all running backwards . Keep practising . The Bokke are here

      taff123 - 2011-09-04 21:33

      where did you see them practising

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-09-03 20:20

    Wales? Who are they again? Oh,yes -- the lot that can only sing? No tropheys? No cups? Nada!

  • - 2011-09-03 23:10

    Wales - bunch of arrogant nobodies, who have never won anything. Boks will eat them for breakfast

  • GraemeBB - 2011-09-03 23:57

    A man that carries on and on about a subject clearly is worried about something. That win to a England B team has made him dream - I wish I could be there to see his face on the 11th - the rude awakening.

      GraemeBB - 2011-09-04 14:03

      @taff123 - haha, are you sure you not Irish? I will tell you what I do know about rugby - England beat the Welsh, two tries or not. Boks have won 24 out of 25 outings against the Welsh, even last year, away from home, with a injury depleted side. Boks have 2 RWC's, the Welsh cant even win the 6 Nations. But, you right - what do I know? The Welsh are feared all over the world.....not!

      taff123 - 2011-09-04 18:24

      you are saying the welsh cant win a six nations, wales 10 grandslams/ triple crowns 20,south africa tri nations twice 2....................

  • geoffrey.drew - 2011-09-05 02:27

    What Wales should do is sing loud and sing often. That is what they can do better than the Boks. Especially at half time when the score board Wil not look so pretty for them. They have a very beautiful national anthem and the should make the most of that. Then they should sing " Guide me O Thou Great Jehovah often for good measure too, this will be very classy as well. I would not take singing men lightly.

  • RWC It - 2011-09-05 10:43

    Hey, hey, guys... let's not get too nationalistic here, and give credit where it's due. The Welsh have given SA the closest of encounters over the last 3 years, plus a good portion of the Lions squad were Welsh. The Boks have no divine right to win, and this Welsh squad is a lot more dynamic than what the press is reporting. 30 years ago, the Welsh used to laugh at the suggestion that England were a better side, simply because they'd been stuffing them for decades.. and then England came good. So never discount the Welsh... they've had a golden age of fine rugby players in the past, rugby is their national sport, so one really never knows... maybe it's their time to start beating the southern hemisphere teams, whose to say? Personally, I can't see the Boks or the Welsh getting past the semis...

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