Lambie: We’ll be back. Springboks play best when our backs are against wall

Cape Town – Flyhalf Pat Lambie denies that the Springboks underestimated the Japanese onslaught in Saturday’s historic World Cup clash in Brighton.

Japan stunned the Boks 34-32 to record what is being called the greatest victory in the history of the tournament, but Lambie says that the players were not shocked by the performance of their opposition.


“We definitely weren’t surprised. We had spoken about it all week. We knew that they would be up for it. We knew that it was going to be a very fast game; that they were going to play above themselves … lots of leg tackles,” Lambie said at Monday’s Bok press conference.

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“Even at half time the talk was good, everyone was calm. There weren’t too many wide eyes or anything like that.

“All the players are looking forward to getting our team review over and done with and getting out onto the training field and moving on. We really are looking forward to making this right … we’re all hurting more than ever before now.”

Lambie applauded the Japanese on their win, but backed the Boks and their ability to turn their tournament around.

Read also: Why the Japanese David was always likely to beat SA’s Goliath

“We have to give credit where credit is due, I think Japan played particularly well. Obviously it wasn’t the performance we were looking for as a Springbok side,” he said.

“I definitely am hopeful. We don’t really have a choice now. Certainly since I’ve been involved in the Springboks it’s brought the best out in the group when we’ve had our backs against the wall.”

Saturday’s match kicks off at 17:45 and will be played at Villa Park. – Sport24