Boks not thinking about quarter-final opponents

Joe Schmidt (Getty)
Joe Schmidt (Getty)

Cape Town - Springbok scrum coach Matthew Proudfoot insists the squad is not thinking about who they will face in the quarter-finals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.  

The Boks take on tournament favourites and defending champions New Zealand in Yokohama on Saturday, and who they will meet in the quarter-finals will be determined by what happens in the match. 

If the Boks win on Saturday, they will almost certainly finish top of Pool B and will then play whoever finishes second in Pool A. 

That will likely be whoever loses between Ireland and Scotland. 

The former is ranked No 1 in the world and will be fancied to beat the Scots, meaning that a Bok defeat on Saturday could result in a quarter-final against the Irish. 

But, at this stage, are the Boks paying any attention whatsoever to who they could meet in the last eight?

"No," was Proudfoot's blunt answer.

"Is Scotland going to beat Ireland? I don’t know.

"If you understand our mentality, it’s this game: another game against New Zealand. It’s going to be such a tight game, small executions that will determine the outcome of the game.

"I don’t think that if you win this game, you are now all of a sudden a hot favourite for the tournament.

"The competition hasn’t even started and there is so much rugby to be played. We just really enjoy playing against the All Blacks.

"It’s measuring yourself against one of the best teams in the world - a team that understands us, and we understand really well."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 11:45 (SA time).  

- Compiled by Lloyd Burnard

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