Boks were 'in a dark space'

John McFarland (Gallo Images)
John McFarland (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - What a difference a couple of weeks and three Rugby World Cup matches can make. 

There is a sense of optimism surrounding South African rugby again as the Springboks prepare for next weekend's World Cup quarter-final. 

Wins over Samoa, Scotland and then Wednesday night's drubbing of a poor American side have gone a long way towards restoring a belief in this Springbok squad after that calamitous loss to Japan in week 1. 

The road to the quarter-finals has been bumpy to say the least, and the Boks had to dig themselves out of a deep hole to get there.

"We were in a very dark space after Japan and there was a hell of a lot of pressure on and to get out of it and defend in the way we’ve done," Bok defence coach John McFarland said on Thursday.

"What’s been more impressive is not just their work rate but their desire to smash teams backwards in the tackle."

Responding to questions over whether the Boks had faced enough quality opposition in the pool stages to have been adequately tested defensively, McFarland was adamant they had. 

"We’ve certainly been tested. All international teams will test you. When there’s 110 kg guys coming at you you’ve got to hit them backwards," he said.

The Boks will play either Wales or Australia in the quarter-finals, depending on who loses in Saturday's Pool A clash between those sides. 

"We’ve played three Tests against Wales in 2014 and we know what they bring and they know what we bring," said McFarland.

"Australia we play regularly and the guys see them 24/7. I think Australia are in a good space at the moment. Obviously we’ll look at both of them, put video work together on both teams and then wait for the result on Saturday.

"What’s nice for us now is that we’ve had three very challenging hard weeks … and now we’ve got a three/four day break for the guys to refresh their bodies, refresh their minds and come back on Monday with a new focus."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
Moroka Swallows 0
Bloemfontein Celtic 0
loading... Live
Orlando Pirates 1
Stellenbosch FC 1
loading... Live
Maritzburg United 0
Cape Town City 1
loading... Live
Mamelodi Sundowns 0
loading... Live
TS Galaxy FC 1
AmaZulu 0
loading... Live
Lamontville Golden Arrows 1
SuperSport United 0
loading... Live
Istanbul Basaksehir 0
Paris SG 0
loading... Live
FC Krasnodar 0
Chelsea 0
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
42% - 8940 votes
11% - 2308 votes
19% - 4082 votes
2% - 528 votes
1% - 191 votes
2% - 496 votes
5% - 1042 votes
9% - 1813 votes
3% - 726 votes
Water sports
1% - 198 votes
American sports
1% - 266 votes
3% - 672 votes