Boks turn to ‘heavy metal’ to prepare for deafening din

Springboks Duane Vermeulen and Ox Nche during training at Stade Omnisports du Chemin de Ronde in Croissy-sur-Seine, Paris, on Thursday. Picture: STEVE HAAG/GALLO IMAGES

The Springboks have replicated the loud noise they anticipate from Sunday’s Rugby World Cup quarterfinal match against France during their training sessions. The stadium is located near Paris and is known for its massive crowds.

By the time the Boks arrive in the northern suburbs of Paris on Sunday, they will be accustomed to having their ears ringing as the world champions appear to be up against not just the blue team but the entire host country.

Springboks Duane Vermeulen and Ox Nche during training at Stade Omnisports du Chemin de Ronde in Croissy-sur-Seine, Paris, on Thursday. Picture: STEVE HAAG/GALLO IMAGES

It’s going to be really big. Regarding the noise aspect, Bok hooker and occasionally captain Bongi Mbonambi stated on Thursday, “We tried to simulate it in training.”

“There was noise during training. There is nothing fresh that surprises you regarding the match because we go through it every week. We are aware that there will be a lot of singing and that it will be sold out. We’re going to accept it and make an effort to concentrate on our strategy.

When the Boks faced France in Marseille on Sunday, November 20, 2022, they had a preview of what to expect. The Stade Vélodrome’s curved roof provides a fascinating acoustic experience, which the Boks experienced firsthand on their most recent end-of-year tour—both from the stands and through the speakers.

Although they came up just short on that particular occasion, the battle between the Tricolores and the Springboks was one for the ages. A few red cards were also issued, which affected the proceedings.

When asked if Sunday’s encounter would result in a clash of higher intensity, Mbonambi gave the “you ain’t seen nothing yet” look.

“Compared to the end-of-year test in Marseille, the intensity will be significantly higher. There is a lot at stake in a quarterfinal. The environment and intensity will change.

William Servat, the scrum coach for France, may have ratcheted up the heat on this topic by using the word “violent” to describe the Boks’ ferocity earlier in the week.

When informed of it, Mbonambi bristled, “First time I’ve heard that.” “South Africans take great satisfaction in being aggressive and rough. We are aware that the French pack enjoys provoking conflict.

“We’re going to embrace that and use the spirit of a rugby game to reflect who we are as South Africans.

It is a sport of collision. We enjoy collisions a lot. No matter how they choose to phrase it, I don’t believe they will back down.

Although the Boks had faced the host nation in the World Cup quarterfinals, Mbonambi thinks that their encounter at the Stade de France will be very different than the one they encountered at the International Stadium Yokohama four years ago.

The Boks, according to scrumhalf Cobus Reinach, who has been as important to the team this year as he was four years ago, cannot ride the emotional rollercoaster the French would try to put them on.

“We make an effort to avoid using emotions. Feelings cause you to lose focus. We must finish our task. On Sunday, we’ll perform there in front of 60 million people, and we’ll be able to feel proud of it. We are only focusing on that.

Reinach emphasized that there is no distinction between a World Cup quarterfinal and semifinal loss. “That is not even a word in our language. We are not at the World Cup to play a third-and-fourth-place play-off.

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