Cobus Reinach: Ireland the same as Romania

Despite Ireland’s impressive form of late and the importance of this Saturday’s Pool B game, the Boks will keep to their preparation format of tightening identified weaknesses, says veteran player.

Scrum-half Cobus Reinach has insisted the Springboks won’t change their preparations for the much-anticipated world cup clash between South Africa and Ireland on Saturday.

Reinach dotted down three times in the first half to get the ball rolling, as the Boks mercilessly battered minnows Romania in a whitewash win in Bordeaux on Sunday.

It was the veteran scrum-half’s second world cup hat-trick, after he set a tournament record by scoring three in 21 minutes against Canada in 2019.

The top-ranked Ireland will face the defending world champions at the Stade de France on Saturday night, in a Pool B game that will be decisive for both teams’ quarter-final ambitions.

The Irish scored eight tries to earn a 59-16 win over Tonga in their second match of the tournament last week, and claimed a narrow win when they faced the Boks in November in Dublin.

Looking ahead to the blockbuster game in Saint-Denis this weekend, Reinach told reporters: “We don’t change how we prepare for games; if it’s Romania or Ireland or New Zealand, we have to go and look at what we did wrong and where we can improve.

“We’ll hit the training ground running, focus on how we can get better and then put it on the pitch on game day.”

On his latest touchdown achievement and personal growth since Japan 2019, the 33-year-old added: “We came in with the goal to be dominant in all aspects and I think that’s what the forwards did, they give you good platforms to play off and I was lucky enough to score off it.

“I don’t think I’ve changed much, except I’ve got a bit more experience. I feel 21 in the legs and 21 in the head, so I just want to keep on going and keep on playing as best as I can.”

Faf de Klerk, who swapped half-back duties for a stint at fly-half against Romania, praised Reinach, as well as the intensity of the South Africans.

“I teed up Cobus all week to say he has to break his record, but I think he missed it by a couple of minutes,” he joked. “But most of it came off some great set-piece pressure from the big boys.

“The boys did their job up front, and [there were] some good skills from the backs to get it to him, and some great finishing obviously.

“We focused on that this weekend, we didn’t want to make it an exhibition game or a Barbarians-style game, we just wanted to focus on our sequences and really work on that and make sure our forwards are focused on that.

“We’re naturally a physical team, so I’m very proud of the boys for doing that, the forwards are very focused and I’m happy with the way the boys played.”

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