Springboks Jean Kleyn and RG Snyman Springbok

Springboks Jean Kleyn and RG Snyman. Photo: SA Rugby website.

Springboks confident of qualification: ‘It’ll take something significant’ to eliminate us

The Springboks are self-confident of their progression to the World Cup playoffs, despite being reliant on the outcome of the Pool B clash between Ireland and Scotland on Saturday.

Springboks Jean Kleyn and RG Snyman Springbok

Springboks Jean Kleyn and RG Snyman. Photo: SA Rugby website.

The Springboks are ready for any eventuality as they await their Rugby World Cup fate on Saturday when Ireland line up against Scotland in the Pool B decider and according to Jean Kleyn, they have started their preparations for the quarter-final, even though their fate and potential opponent remained unknown.

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If Ireland defeat Scotland and deny the opposition a bonus point, Ireland and the Springboks will advance to top eight. On the other hand, a victory for Scotland by eight points while denying Ireland a bonus point will see Scotland and the Springboks go through.

In turn a draw would see the Boks finish at the top of the pool, with the only permutation which would see the Springboks drop out of the competition would be if Scotland defeat Ireland by at least 21 points and with both teams earning try-scoring bonus points.

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The Boks have three training days this week – Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday – before the weekend’s matches play out, and they will resume their full match training week on Sunday.

“This is a week for us to reset,” said Kleyn.

“It’s just the way the dice rolled for us, and we cannot wait to see what happens on Saturday. We’ve put ourselves in a good position to do what we can to qualify. It will take something significant for us not to make it. So, we know what lies ahead and what we need to do.

“At the moment, we are at the top of the pool, and we can finish first, second or third. All we can do is to prepare as best possible.”

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The former Irish international was non-committal about his assessment about how the pool decider could play out.

“There’s always a high level of attrition when Irish and Scottish teams play against one another,” said Kleyn, who represented Ireland at RWC 2019.

“There’s an underlying combativeness between those nations both at club and international level, so it will be a serious match.”

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On a less seriousness note, Kleyn said many of the team members had their families in camp in the last few weeks – a luxury they thoroughly enjoyed in what has been a physically demanding few months few the team.

“I have an eight-month-old baby, and it’s fantastic to have them around all the time. Any man is only as good as the people around him, so it’s been an absolute joy,” said Kleyn.

“We’ve been away from home for about four months with the team, so having our families here adds a sense of semi-normality to life. It’s also good to reset the mind, which is fantastic.”

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Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber. Photo: Video screenshot.