Scotland can afford to lose and still make the quarter-finals if the beat the Samoans.
On the one hand it measures the number of penalties that South Africa have conceded over the course of their first two matches in the tournament.
“I don’t understand why people are saying it’s a second string”, Humphreys said. You have to go back to your basic principles and, if you adhere to those and stick to those, then hopefully you will be in the game. Look at the two Gray brothers (Richie and Jonny). “It is a massive match-up but we are just focusing on ourselves”.
“It wasn’t a final squad or anything but I got to know a lot of players and the current coaching staff. It was a good experience”.
Many have been side-tracked by a rather spurious debate about whether this is a first or second-choice XV, ignoring the Hobson’s choice presented to head coach Vern Cotter, who has dealt with the demands of a third fixture in 10 days with a selection partly pre-planned and partly put together on the hoof. Every single player has worked so hard to be here and they’re here on merit. Our sole focus is on this game. What is unequivocal is the Springboks need to win this match having lost their opening game to Japan. Right now we’ve not thought about Samoa.
Josh Strauss insists there will be no divided loyalties when he lines up for Scotland against South Africa at St James’ Park this afternoon. They are huge parts of the game, especially South Africa’s maul attack. “As a backline we just have to help them out as much as we can”. “The forwards are going to have an extremely tough day”.
A convincing victory for the Springboks will send them back to the top of their pool, exactly where Heyneke Meyer would have expected his team to be at this stage of the competition.
‘As a forwards coach, I’ll say the scrum and the lineouts are key areas.
The defending team are not allowed to knock their opponents to the ground once a maul is established and, once momentum is gained, it’s incredibly hard for even the most organised and powerful team to stop this potent attacking weapon.
“I don’t think it will be any different to any other game”.
“Schalk went to school with my cousin, so I know him a bit through that”, he said. Reps: R Ford, A Dickinson, J Welsh, T Swinson, R Wilson, S Hidalgo-Clyne, P Horne, S Lamont.
SOUTH AFRICA: W le Roux, JP Pietersen, J Kriel, D de Allende, B Habana, H Pollard, F du Preez (captain); T Mtawarira, B du Plessis, J du Plessis, E Etzebeth, L de Jager, F Louw, S Burger, D Vermeulen. Reps: A Strauss, T Nyakane, F Malherbe, Pieter-S du Toit, W Alberts, R Pienaar, P Lambie, J Serfontein.