Irish look to humble 'Bok bruisers'
Irish look to humble 'Bok bruisers'SHARE
Ireland are convinced that if they take a leaf out of the All Black book they will beat South Africa in Dublin on Saturday.
Many pundits are convinced the Springboks are a very limited team when their forwards don't dominate and base this conviction on the manner in which the world's top-ranked team, New Zealand, dismantled the Boks in recent encounters.
The Irish have made no secret of their intention to physically overpower the Boks in the opening round of matches in the year-end Tests.
Ireland No.8 Jamie Heaslip said he is relishing the physical challenge of the Springboks.
"South Africa, make no bones about it, they have a big bruising pack and they try to knock you off the ball really," Heaslip said.
"We have to front up and meet them at the contact zone, and beat them in the collisions.
"When we have the ball we have to carry hard for ourselves and provide the backs with quick ball.
"We have a very potent backline that can score tries from anywhere."
He was supported in this view by flyhalf Jonathan Sexton, who also spoke of the bruising nature of the Bok game.
"They are so big and physical," Sexton said, adding: "Their new coach [Heyneke Meyer] is even more down that line and we have to be ready for that confrontation.
"They are big men, so we have to come up with plans on how to move them around and also how to take them down when they have the ball."
Sexton described Saturday's encounter as a "big challenge" for Ireland – who also face Fiji and Argentina later this month.
"At the moment our focus is on winning the first game," the flyhalf said, adding: "We have had two weeks preparing for that and if we get off to a good start it will set us up for the other tests."
Ireland scrum half Eoin Reddan echoed similar sentiments, saying the men from the Emerald Isle do have the ability to know one of the world top ranked teams over.
"South Africa are an excellent side," Reddan said, adding: "They have worked very hard in the Rugby Championship, that they have just come from, it will be a very tough ask.
"We are quietly confident. We have trained well this week – we are looking forward to putting a big performance together and hopefully that is enough to win."