Siya Kolisi says the focused on getting win against Japan in the quarter-finals. Photo: Steve Haag Sports/Hollywoodbets
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi isn’t reading anything into their pre-World Cup drubbing of Japan as his team prepare for their quarter-final showdown in Tokyo tomorrow.

The Boks beat the hosts 41-7 two weeks before the World Cup kicked off, and it was a result that was needed as much for preparation purposes as it was to put Brighton to bed.

Kolisi yesterday explained that they hadn’t done anything differently in terms of preparation, while he also added that the last-four fixture will be nothing like the warm-up they played against the Brave Blossoms.

“No, we didn’t (do anything differently). We’ve just worked hard and prepared well, as always. It’s a different game to the one we played before the World Cup. Both teams have improved quite a lot, but nothing much has changed from what we did (before in preparation for a match).”

The Boks were the first team to arrive in Japan ahead of the World Cup in an attempt to acclimatise to the hot and humid conditions.

And now, seven weeks later, Kolisi is keen to finally get down to play-off business.

“It was awesome that we got here so early to help us get used to the place. We’ve had great times and the people have welcomed us. The training has been really good this week, and we take a lot of confidence out of it. Just looking forward to playing now.”

The Boks lost their Yokohama opener to New Zealand, a result which immediately put them under pressure as far as their remaining pool games were concerned.

But looking at the mental aspect of it, that result, in hindsight, doesn’t look so bad now, as it’s been “do-or-die” for the South Africans since week one, so nothing really changes now.

“Luckily for us, it’s been do-or-die since the first game, so we’ve been in that mindset for a couple of weeks now. It’s not like any other Test match. It’s play-off time now. We have all prepared for it mentally, and the coaches haven’t put that kind of pressure on us. But we know what needs to be done. So, I don’t think anybody needs to tell us that this is a big game. If we don’t know that already, then we are in the wrong place.”


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