Johann van Graan (Gallo Images)
- Springbok assistant coach Johann van Graan believes South Africa would be
able to handle a high tempo match where the ball is in play for longer than
usual when they face Japan in their Rugby World Cup opener in Brighton on
coach Eddie Jones has made no secret that the plan was to run the Boks off
their feet with their fast-paced play.
the Springboks will face Japan for the first time ever, Van Graan felt the last
four years’ Test matches have prepared the side for any type of opposition.
game is different with a different character and we can’t predict how long the
ball will be in play we’ve been fortunate over the last four years where we’ve
played different Tests,” Van Graan said on Friday.
year against Australia the ball was in play for 46 minutes so we’ve played a
game like that before.
know it is going to be a set-piece battle, and the Japanese like to carry the
ball like we do but we have a specific plan we want to execute.”
Springbok prop Jannie du Plessis said the pitch at the Brighton Community
Stadium would allow for and open and exciting match.
Plessis said the Springboks faced a strong Japanese scrum but would not be
drawn on comments made by Jones where he hoped the burly prop would do less
talking to the referee and more playing.
is a great and astute coach, no body’s played a game yet I just want to do my
best for South Africa regardless of what people say,” Du Plessis said.
want to contribute to a good team performance, Japan has a very good scrum,
they get themselves into a good body position and they are a good unit.
coach is doing a brilliant job, it is going to be a big challenge which is
good, it is a World Cup, nothing should be easy at a World Cup and I am looking
forward to it.”
The match kicks off at 17:45.
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