Pressure is on the Wallabies, says Smit

2011-07-19 00:00

SPRINGBOK captain John Smit was not surprised about Samoa’s shock victory over Australia on Sunday.

“We did not see the game, but the days are long gone where Samoa could not be considered one of the best teams in the world.

“Their victory definitely casts a different light on our Rugby World Cup group and will make it an interesting one,” said Smit.

“Almost all of Samoa’s players play professional rugby somewhere. I played against a lot of them in the Heineken Cup and all of them are superb players.”

Smit believes the Wallaby defeat may help the Boks with their preparations this week.

“I think the spotlight and pressure will probably be heavily on the Aussies in the next few days.

“It will suit us as we can then prepare without too much attention on us,” he said.

There have been numerous complaints in Australia about South Africa’s “B team” for the tour ever since the announcement of the Springbok squad.

Wallaby coach Robbie Deans was frank in his assessment.

Deans said, “We were beaten in the physical aspects and they defended strongly.

“They also stole possession from us very effectively and were highly competitive at the breakdowns.

“It was a wake-up call before we play the Springboks.”

Wallaby captain Rocky Elsom confirmed the words of his coach.

“I’m not at all satisfied with what happened. We have six days before we play the Springboks and will have to work on a number of things,” said Elsom.

It will also be bad news for the Wallabies that Smit and his team have enough motivation to perform well on Saturday.

“A lot has been said about the make-up of the team and how eager the players will be to show what they’re capable of,” said the Bok captain.

“It certainly applies to me. I did not play enough in the Super Rugby tournament and every time I got into a groove with the Sharks I was undone by an injury,” said Test rugby’s most experienced hooker.

“This is an ideal situation for everyone, but also for me. I badly need these games to get myself ready.

“I did not run on the field in any one of my 102 Tests with the thought that the Boks did not have a winning chance and certainly won’t be doing it against the Wallabies on Saturday,” he added.

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