Winning Wales wary of resurgent Springboks

CARDIFF – Wales coach Warren Gatland has admitted he and his team are wary about the resurgent South African team he says has reclaimed some of its “old identity” ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup.

“They have reclaimed some of their old identity and what they’re about,” Gatland said of the Boks, who now have Rassie Erasmus at the helm.

“Physicality and a strong scrum, a driving lineout and strong ball-carriers. That’s why you always respect them for what they are. They have gone back to being tough and physical and have subtleties in the way they play.”

As they prepare the Springboks on Saturday, he has played his team’s winning streak, “What has built nicely is the momentum, the players are fully aware of what they’ve achieved and they can do something special and from that they know the momentum is created for the Six Nations and they can continue to build towards the World Cup,” he said.

“The job is easy for us as coaches at the moment because there is a lot of motivation in the squad with players wanting to do well and fight hard for their jersey. There’s also the rewards of being successful and winning and building on that momentum.”

Bok coach Rassie Erasmus said of the upcoming match, “would definitely make the tour successful, or relatively at least, because we would have liked to have won four out of four”.

“We know how tough it is going to be. We have not beaten them in the last three games, and they have won eight on the trot.

“Beating a team like that will give us more confidence. If we beat them on Saturday it will mean we have won five of our last seven games, and lost two by one point and two points.”

Photo credit- SuperSport

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