Ireland coach labels Springboks as ‘aggressive’

Ireland and South Africa are scheduled to meet in the clash of all Rugby World Cup clashes at the Stade de France on Saturday night, but psychological warfare has already started.

Ireland lead the way at the top of the Pool B standings by a single log point, closely followed by the Springboks in second position and now the top two sides in the World Rugby rankings will square off in a match that will likely determine which of these sides will face the All Blacks or France in the quarter-finals.

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Addressing the media during an official tournament conference, Catt confidently told reporters Ireland have the tactical nous to thwart Springboks’ aggression in defence.

“They’re [The Boks] playing a great brand of rugby at the moment. There’s a real good mix of their physicality and their directness to their ability to move the ball,” he explained.

“Having Manie Libbok at 10, Damian Willemse at 15 and Willie le Roux – they’re definitely putting the ball through the hands a little bit more and they’re causing big problems for a lot of teams.”

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“We’re well aware of it, but still you’ve got to try and stop it. You’re playing against one of the best teams in the world. This is what World Cups are built on.”

Ireland assistant added: “South Africa have always been very aggressive in their defence and it’s worked very, very well for them. It definitely puts your skillset under pressure and it’s something we’ve been working on over the past couple of years.

“A lot more teams are becoming a lot tighter and coming with a lot more line speed. There’s still space around, you’ve just got to find it in different ways.”


South Africa and Ireland will face off for the 28th time in their long history dating back to 1906 in Paris on Saturday, 23 September. Photo: Twitter screenshot