The much-anticipated Rugby World Cup final set to take place between the Springboks and England on Saturday in Japan will have South Africans on edge, hoping for the Boks to bring the cup home.
According to Komani’s former Springbok player, Kaya Malotana, who came from Lady Frere and is an Old Queenian, the Springbok forward pack only has one goal in the match and that is to be menacing by completely dominating England at set pieces.
“That will determine whether Faf [de Klerk] and Handre [Pollard] can control field position and how we attack. If England can get parity up front, they will have a better chance of winning because they have more ambition with ball in hand,” he said.
On Sunday, he had the honour of being a commentator for the Springbok semifinal against Wales which secured their place in the final.
He said he expected England to match the Springboks at the gain line for big part of the game.
“We need two players on the field who can slow England’s ball down at rucks.
“In the first half, Duane Vermeulen will have a lot of work on his hands, but when [Malcolm] Marx and [Francois] Louw come on in the second half, it should give our forwards the edge.
“Our starting forwards need to make sure we don’t allow England to get ahead as they can defend a score very well.”
While England’s backline played at a faster pace and kept continuity against New Zealand in the semifinals, the Springboks battled with recycling the ball against Wales.
MaIotana said this would make a big difference to England’s chances because they were efficient in shifting ball to space in their backline, unlike the Springboks.
“We need to play a high pressure, defensive game to disrupt England’s rhythm and force the game into a stop-start affair. Hopefully that will frustrate England and force them into errors that we can capitalise on” he added.
Malotana said being in a World Cup was the most rewarding and fulfilling experience.
“It is also the most humbling and nerve-wracking experience because you know you do not only carry your hopes and aspirations, but those of your family, friends, community and, indeed, your country.”
Malotana is currently based in Johannesburg and is a rugby commentator, analyst, coach and World Rugby educator.