- Title: Springbok flyhalf Pollard signals no change to gameplan in semi against Wales
- Date: 25th October 2019
- Summary: YOKOHAMA, JAPAN (OCTOBER 25, 2019) (REUTERS) SOUTH AFRICAN RUGBY PLAYERS PASSING BALL ALL AT TRAINING (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH AFRICAN FLY-HALF HANDRE POLLARD, SAYING: "He's (Wales' fullback Liam Williams) a world class goalkicker, we all know that - that's no secret. But it's on the day, we all know it's probably going to come down to a kick or a drop goal. It's semi-final rugby, so you've got to be on target every time, you try your best to be target every kick you kick and if it's not to be, it's not to be. But I'm sure it's going to come down to a kick." SOUTH AFRICAN PLAYER KICKING AT GOAL (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH AFRICAN FLY-HALF HANDRE POLLARD, SAYING: "We don't select our team based on the weather for sure, but I mean going with the six two split certainly helps if it's wet, we know it's going to be a big set piece battle and gain line battle whether it's dry or wet. We're prepared for that, looks like it's going to be wet on Sunday as well, so we'll see Sunday when we get up, how it looks and what it is. But we're not going to prepare around the weather, whatever comes our way, we'll handle it. I think our game plan suits dry weather and wet weather pretty well. So there won't be any major adjustments with regards to the weather." VARIOUS OF SPRINGBOKS KICKING RUBGY BALLS (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH AFRICAN FLY-HALF HANDRE POLLARD, SAYING: "It's no secret, the set piece battle coming on Sunday. I'm sure it'll be much tougher handling this week around, compared to last week. But for now as a flyhalf, you just let the boys go you know, you just keep them going forward. It's my responsibility to keep our big boys going forward for the majority of the game. When you start turning around it takes a lot out of the forwards, they use a lot of energy. So try keeping them staying on the front foot as long as possible and then when we get the opportunities to get on, we'll get on our set piece going. Just make sure they're ready and ready to go." SPRINGBOK KICKING AT GOAL (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH AFRICAN FLY-HALF HANDRE POLLARD, SAYING: "Lately we've struggled against him. We've played them - it's always our last game on end of year tours, so it's always after a long season and it's in the Millennium Stadium. So it's always tough, you never really have your guys fit and ready to go. So it's going to be nice to play them on a neutral ground with both teams having all their guys - not all their guys, but most of their guys available for selection and to see who's the better team. It's going to be a real interesting chess match, really looking forward to it. I think it's going to be two sides tactically really trying to figure each other out and feel each other out for the first 20 to 30 minutes and then forcing whatever plan we made in the week and then try to put the pressure back on them I guess." SPRINGBOKS TRAINING ON FIELD AT YOKOHAMA STADIUM
- Embargoed: 8th November 2019 06:48
- Keywords: Japan South Africa Springboks Rugby World Cup Handre Pollard
- Location: YOKOHAMA, JAPAN
- City: YOKOHAMA, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Rugby Union,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA001B2LGGFZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The Springboks came in for some flak back home for the limited ambition of their game against Japan last weekend but flyhalf Handre Pollard suggested on Friday (October 25) that there would be little change for the World Cup semi-final against Wales.
Sunday's (October 27) match at Yokohama International Stadium is shaping to be a hugely physical contest with both teams looking to dominate the set piece and send big ball carriers crashing over the advantage line.
The focus on forward domination means South Africa's lightning quick outside backs do not get to see much of the ball but Pollard did not expect changes to their game plan. The rain teeming down on the pitch throughout South Africa's training session at the stadium on Friday only added to the likelihood of a tight, forward-dominated contest.
Pollard said he was convinced the match was going to come down to a single kick at goal which means Wales losing fullback Liam Williams to injury was not necessarily good news for South Africa. The loss of Williams means Leigh Halfpenny will wear the red number 15 jersey on Sunday, bringing with him the feet that have kicked 188 penalties and 73 conversions in 88 tests.
Pollard, who has had a success rate of 75% with his kicks for points at the tournament so far, said it did not make a huge amount of difference to him who was kicking for Wales.
(Production: Jill Gralow, James Redmayne)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None