Springboks clash all in the mind

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Samoa captain Mahonri Schwalger believes the key to Friday's must-win match with South Africa is all in the mind.

"I think it is all about attitude. The team that turns up with the right attitude will probably come up on top," Schwalger said on Tuesday.

"We have to make sure these guys are cranked up for Friday."

The trouble is, having the right attitude hasn't always come easy for the Samoans.

"The World Cup, you can't go half-hearted. You can't have the attitude that you are going to come second," said Schwalger. "I have said before it is all about attitude and it is something we need to work on.

"I think the issue has always been belief, whether or not we actually believe we can roll with these big guys,'' added Eliota Fuimaono Sapolu. "But now I think the belief is there, we just need to have that execution."

Samoa are tied with Wales for second place in Pool D on 10 points. Wales play Fiji on Sunday to close out the pool phase of competition.

Firing on all cylinders

The Samoans know they must be firing on all cylinders to have a hope of upsetting the defending World Cup champions. The Springboks have outscored their opposition 153-19 in three victories, while the Samoans have an 86-36 advantage in registering two wins and a loss.

"To win games against these teams you've got to have strong defence. If you get the chance to time how long a player touches the ball, it's about 20 seconds in a game, so it's all about the 79 minutes and 40 seconds that you do without the ball,'' added Sapolu.

"You will have to play smart rugby against South Africa. Discipline will be the key,'' said Anthony Perenise.

"They have a big pack and their wingers are fast and mobile. It will be interesting to see what game plan we use against them."

The Samoans know they are taking a step up the competitive ladder but motivation should not be a problem.

"It is a great opportunity. To make the quarter-finals and beat the world champions would make it more special,'' said Kane Thompson. "There will be an extra holiday in Samoa if we knock them out, no doubt."