Springboks fans are highly confident of repeating their 2019 World Cup win in France after Monday’s draw confirmed they will play in Pool B at the next tournament.
After being named in the same pool as Scotland and Ireland, Springboks fans were ecstatic at having obtained an ‘easy’ path to the final where many proclaimed they will win their fourth World Cup trophy.
One fan wrote ‘that’s a walk in the park’ after seeing the draw, while another claim the Springboks will be ‘cruising to the 2023 RWC finals’ after ‘dusting these teams’.
The humility of a few Springboks fans was in full display as they proclaimed a final matchup against hosts France which they would prosper in.
Springboks will retain the rugby world cup in 2013 in France.Wait and see.
— Nigel Stuart Taylor (@NigelStuartTay1) December 15, 2020
— Barney Simon (@BarneySimon) December 14, 2020
— NAZEEM GROOTBOOM (@NAZEEM_G8) December 14, 2020
Springboks cruising to the RWC2023Finals
Lord! I shall be there https://t.co/4uwLyaxZcO
— Nomtha Pakati (@hopetoafrica) December 14, 2020
Indeed, how great will it be to be crowned world's best rugby nation for the 4th time
— ???? (@TJ_Thulo) December 14, 2020
— The Villager (@DrJacksonBecks) December 14, 2020
Calling it now. We playing France in the final
— Krean Naidoo? (@thesoberavenger) December 14, 2020
— R$M???? (@RSMorison) December 14, 2020
It’s ok — we’ll win this World Cup with the toughest path to the cup ????????????
— Chris Rolfe (@chrisrolfe1) December 15, 2020
You are misinformed. Springboks drawn into Pool B with South Africa A and South Africa B. Great draw for us ?????
— Matthew Holmes (@matthewinvest) December 14, 2020
Pool B: @Springboks V Ireland, Scotland, Asia/Pacific tbc + Europe tbc.
— Lauren Clarke (@rensyclarke) December 15, 2020
— Hlo’ (@hlons_) December 15, 2020
Easiest draw imaginable. Lol
— Travis (@Travman9507) December 14, 2020
It will be the first time in World Cup history that the Springboks face Ireland, despite the Bok fans confidence the ledger between the two sides has been quite even in recent years with Ireland winning six of the last 10 clashes stretching back to 2004. The last outing resulted in Ireland spanking the Springboks 38-3 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin in 2017.
While both teams fortunes have changed since then, the historical results say this will be no easy task for the Springboks, particularly on neutral ground.
The Irish noted the response online, with journalist Cian Tracey bringing up comments made by CJ Stander recently which he stated ‘we will get them at some stage’ after comments by Rassie Erasmus had called them soft.
— Eoin ?? (@eoinnnnn) December 14, 2020
At least Ireland will get a chance to rid themselves of their ‘softies’ tag against the Springboks.
CJ Stander on Rassie Erasmus’ comments last month:
“That is a big statement to make. We will get them at some stage.”
— Cian Tracey (@CianTracey1) December 14, 2020
With Scotland and Ireland in their pool, the four South African Super Rugby franchises move to an expanded Pro16 competition gives each side a comprehensive look at each other at domestic level which could be a bonus for South African Rugby who would otherwise not see much of the Irish & Scottish playing styles.
Progressing from the pool stages is one thing, but winning a quarterfinal is another altogether. If the crossover system is the same as 2019, Pool B will face Pool A where New Zealand and France sit, resulting in a mammoth quarterfinal for the Springboks.
This was not lost on SuperSport writer Brendan Nel who wrote in his column that “the governing body has opened up an interesting can of worms” by “deciding that the rankings go out the window”. He argued that making the draw so early in the cycle is unnecessary.
“The governing body has opened up an interesting can of worms that will leave France 2023 with a lopsided draw that sees it top-heavy, while the bottom half looks like an absolute dream for Eddie Jones’ England,” he said.
The reaction from Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber was one of muted excitement, full of praise for the pool stage opponents.
“I must say we are quite excited, if you look at the pool I think we’ll need to be on top of our game just to get out of it.
“There are no two ways about it. It’s funny to think that one of either South Africa, Ireland or Scotland may not make it to the playoffs. So, it’s going to be a tough pool, but we are very much looking forward to it.”
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now