Burger happy to weather the storm

by Staff Writer

Schalk Burger says the Springboks are prepared for whatever the notorious Wellington weather throws at them for their quarter-final against Australia on Sunday.

Fierce winds and rain lashed the squad training session at Lower Hutt on Wednesday.

But Burger said South Africa were not intending to adopt a new gameplan, unless the elements dictated it.

"If we were playing today I suppose our tactics would have been quite different," said the flanker.

"But I don't think we are at a stage of the competition where we are going to change much. It looks like the weather is going to be all right.

"There is a fair bit of wind around in Wellington and territory will be very important. So whichever way you find fit to get territory you will use.

"But the weather (forecast) looks good at the moment and hopefully it stays that way and both sides can play some enterprising rugby. It will be a great spectacle."

Intense Pressure

Whatever the conditions, the ability to cope under the intense pressure of a World Cup quarter-final would be crucial, he said. Most of the South Africa squad have the benefit of having gone all the way last time.

"It helps being there and having experienced it before, but at the end of the day your caps are not going to win you a rugby match," he said. "You have got to go out there and play to the best of your capabilities.

"Four years is quite a long time ago, so hopefully when it comes down to the last seconds we are five metres from the Wallabies' tryline and not vice-versa.

"When it gets tight like that you call on individuals to make the right decisions and not make mistakes.

"It's about accuracy. When the game gets tight it's individual errors or individual decisions and hopefully we make the right ones."

After 67 matches for South Africa, Burger said he preferred not to even contemplate defeat on Sunday.

"If we do get knocked out, this team has been together eight years and a lot of guys are moving on.

"We will probably start thinking about that after the match, maybe drown our sorrows and say goodbye to a few friends who are going to Japan or wherever. It's important to finish well."

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