The Springboks face the challenge of hosts Japan in the 2019 Rugby World Cup knockouts on Sunday. Follow it live.
South Africa insist that they put 2015’s Brighton Miracle behind them when they beat Japan 41-7 in a World Cup warm-up match in September. But the reality is, this is the Springboks’ chance to finally avenge that last-minute 34-32 defeat four years ago.
The selection of six forwards among the replacements is a clear indication of coach Rassie Erasmus’s strategy – attempt to bully Japan’s pack with a physical onslaught for the full 80 minutes.
But will that be enough? The hosts have captured the imagination of the rugby world with their thrilling, quick-paced style of play, which was too much for Ireland and Scotland.
They shift the point of contact as much as possible to keep defences guessing, and Brave Blossoms coach Jamie Joseph will call on his players to move the bigger Boks team around the field to tire them out.