Rugby World Cup 2023 – Jacques Nienaber: “I am particularly satisfied with some things we tried”

Although satisfied with his team’s big victory against Romania (76-0), South African coach Jacques Nienaber was especially delighted to have tested the versatility of his players in unusual positions.

What do you remember from this big victory and this thunderous start?

It’s impossible to predict whether we’re going to have a good or bad start to the match, but we control the intensity we put in. Scoring isn’t always something you control. But I’m happy with the intensity from the start. I am particularly satisfied with some things we tried. Our choice to play three different hookers paid off. Then Faf de Klerk was exposed at the 10 position. So I think we got a lot of things we wanted to get out of this game.

You had carried out experiments, placing players in unusual positions…

We respected Romania, we analyzed them all week. We wanted this match to be useful to us and that’s why we brought in new players, so that they could get used to the World Cup. Another positive point, there too.

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What did you think of Cobus Reinach’s hat-trick?

He had already scored a hat-trick in 2019, it even seems to me that he has the record for the fastest hat-trick. It’s fantastic. We scored a lot of triesCongrats to all the players.

What do you expect from the match against Ireland?

I looked at Ireland yesterday, but I haven’t analyzed the match yet because we were focused on today’s match. We had to respect Romania and the players chosen to face them today. It would have been disrespectful to them to think of Ireland while today’s match had not yet passed. We will make our choices tomorrow and announce it to the players on Tuesday. We are going to enjoy this evening, in a reasonable way, because we play again in six days. It will be a big match which should determine the ranking, although we also have to play the Tonga. Whether we play Italy, France or New Zealand in the quarter-finals, it will be complicated. So we will play to win, and fate will tell who we will face if we qualify.

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