Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 6th 2015 Contents A53
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
LONDON---Of the four countries in action tomorrow,
only two-time champion South Africa has a realistic
chance of progressing to the Rugby World Cup quar-
Don t expect that to take any heat out of the contests
when the Springboks bid to seal top spot in Pool B
with a win over the United States at the Olympic sta-
dium and Georgia takes on Namibia in Pool C.
The South Africans have selected a nearly full-
strength lineup to play the winless Americans---they
aren t taking any chances after being upended by Japan
in the first weekend of the tournament, a shocking
loss that ranks as the biggest upset ever at the World
Cup. Veteran flanker Schalk Burger, a former world
player of the year and World Cup champion, is set to
equal John Smit s South Africa record of 17 RWC appear-
"You have to stay humble and respect every single
opponent," Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer said,
reflecting yesterday on the main lesson of the tournament
to date. The US Eagles "have shown they are a world-
class team, they re very difficult to play against, very
physical, a lot of big, strong forwards and great runners
The top two teams in each pool advance to the quar-
terfinals, and there s a consolation prize for the teams
which place third---automatic qualification for the 2019
World Cup in Japan.
The US Eagles only have a short turnaround between
their third and fourth games, so they re following the
lead of some other Tier Two countries by leaving a
core group of first-choice players out against the top-
tier nation so they can focus on chasing a win in their
last game against Japan on Sunday.
The Georgians rested several key players against
defending champion New Zealand last Friday, although
with inspirational skipper Mamuka Gorgodze leading
the way they gave the All Blacks a torrid time despite
the 43-10 score. They re back to full strength against
the last-place Namibians.
Here's a look at tomorrow's matches:
SOUTH AFRICA vs UNITED STATES (3-0 overall, 1-0 in
RWC), Olympic stadium, London
Meyer didn't want to take any risks against the
Americans, making only two changes to the starting lineup
that beat Scotland 34-16 over the weekend. He didn't want
to gamble on the fitness of some key players, either, so he
left veteran lock Victor Matfield, prop Jannie du Plessis and
flying winger JP Pietersen out of the 23-man squad for
South Africa's last pool game.
The South Africans were comprehensive 64-15 winners
in the last head-to-head at Montpellier in 2007, the year
they went on to win the World Cup. Burger and winger
Bryan Habana played for the Springboks in that game.
Scrumhalf Fourie du Preez will lead the Springboks for
the second time and Morne Steyn to the reserves bench,
giving him potentially his first cap for the tournament.
After losing 26-16 to Samoa and 39-16 to Scotland, US
coach Mike Tolkin wants to keep most of frontline starters
fresh for the Japan match.
South Africa-born scrumhalf Niku Kruger will make his
World Cup debut in a team led by No 8 Samu Manoa.
Lou Stanfill, who faced the Springboks at the 2007
World Cup, hasn't ruled out a repeat of Japan's "massive
GEORGIA vs NAMIBIA (3-1 overall, 1-0 in RWC), Sandy
Gorgodze is shifting back to No 8 to start his 11th Rugby
World Cup match, a record for Georgia, which opened with
a 17-10 upset win over Tonga.
Gorgodze started in the 54-9 loss to Argentina and the
loss to the All Blacks but is more confident when taking on
Namibia, which is 0-17 in Rugby World Cup matches. He
was part of the team that won the only previous World
Cup meeting between the two countries in '07, Georgia's
first win the tournament.
Gorgodze is the leading tackler so far in the tournament
with 40, including 24 in a man-of-the-match performance
The 18-year-old Vasil Lobzhanidze, the World Cup's
youngest ever player, returns to the starting XV at
scrumhalf in an otherwise very experienced Georgia team
boasting 693 test caps---the national record. It will be
Georgia's last game of the tournament, where they're
aiming to finish third.
Namibia lost their first two matches 58-14 to New
Zealand and 35-21 to Tonga. There were some highlights
against the Tongans, with captain Jacques Burger
becoming the first Namibia player to score two tries in a
Rugby World Cup match and Namibia scoring three times
in a match for the first time on the sport's biggest stage.
Loosehead prop Johnny Redelinghuys returns to the
starting lineup and is set to be the first Namibian to
appear in 50 tests. (AP)
Cup Pool B
at St James'
Springboks take a humble
approach ahead of game vs US
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