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Bok battle is culmination of years of hard work - Tebaldi

Video Credit: Reuters - Sports - Duration: 01:16s - Published
Bok battle is culmination of years of hard work - Tebaldi

Bok battle is culmination of years of hard work - Tebaldi

Italy scrum-half Tito Tebaldi is confident that the Azzurri can use years of preparation to upset South Africa in Friday's Rugby World Cup Pool B clash in Fukuroi City.

SHOWS: FUKUROI CITY, JAPAN (OCTOBER 3, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ITALY SCRUM HALF, TITO TEBALDI, SAYING: "Of course we are feeling a lot of pressure, even off the pitch, yes, but on the pitch as well.

But then as the match is getting closer, we can't just go into the match feeling such a pressure, because that will not be productive.

We need to concentrate, we need to heighten our concentration, but we need look at the pressure that we're feeling because we knew several years ago and we have been preparing for that and so we can now only look forward to tomorrow's match." 2.

WHITE FLASH 3.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SOUTH AFRICA CAPTAIN, SIYA KOLISI, SAYING "Italy is a great side.

They've beaten us in the past, and I think we, in a way we're fortunate that we get to play knockouts earlier than normal.

So, that's what we see this game as.

Obviously they also prepared for this game as well.

It's one of those games that you want to be playing in as a player.

So as a team we've just prepared as best as we could, you know.

We've trained well this week.

We're really confident on our plan.

We didn't change a lot since the All Black game.

It was one of those games where we just, those two opportunities they had and they took them and we didn't take our opportunities.

We created quite a lot that, but we couldn't take them." STORY: Italy scrum-half Tito Tebaldi says the team will put the culmination of several years of hard work into beating South Africa in their must-win Rugby World Cup Pool B clash at the Shizuoka Stadium on Friday (October 4).

Italy go into the contest against one of the pre-tournament favourites as underdogs, but victory will seal them a first ever World Cup quarter-final and Tebaldi admits the carrot being dangled in front of the players is huge.

Tebaldi says the input of Italy's South African-born assistant coaches, Marius Goosen and Mike Catt on defence and attack respectively, has helped the team formulate a plan to counter the considerable threat of the Springboks.

But even as underdogs, the enormity of the potential prize at the end of the contest means the Italian players are feeling the pressure, according to Tebaldi.

Tebaldi adds the side can draw some inspiration from Japan's surprise 19-12 victory over Ireland last weekend that blew Pool A wide open, as well as the Asian side's shock victory over the Boks in 2015.

Both sides will have one match remaining after Friday's clash as the Boks meet minnows Canada on Tuesday and Italy face defending champions New Zealand on Oct.

12.

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi says teammate Eben Etzebeth is focused solely on Friday's crunch Rugby World Cup Pool B clash with Italy amid allegations of racial and physical abuse levelled at the giant lock.

Etzebeth will likely be the subject of a civil case brought by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) after an alleged incident outside a bar on August 25, before the Springboks left for Japan, but remains part of the squad and will line-up against Italy.

Etzebeth has denied any wrong-doing, but it is the last thing the Boks need ahead of a match they must win or face an embarrassing early exit from a tournament where they have been among the favourites.

Kolisi adds the Boks will deviate much from their plans in the 23-13 loss to New Zealand in their competition opener, but what was lacking against the All Blacks was clinical execution.

Kolisi believes the team's preparation has been thorough enough and there will not be much for him to tell the players in the changing room before the game.

(Production: Jill Gralow)




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