KOBE, 10 Oct - When the draw was made for Rugby World Cup 2011, most observers expected Australia to top Pool C and South Africa Pool D. But Ireland forgot to read the script and stunned the Wallabies 15-6 at Eden Park - catching the Springboks unawares.
"I remember clearly in 2011, we prepared for one specific team, Ireland, and we got Australia in the quarter-final," said South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus, pictured below, who was part of the support staff eight years ago.
The Wallabies won a dramatic match in Wellington 11-9, pictured, against Peter de Villiers' underprepared team."We won't make that same mistake," said Erasmus, whose side will face Scotland, Ireland or Japan in the 2019 quarter-finals. "We will prepare for all three teams, but the nice thing is that we played Japan about four weeks ago."
"We studied them (Japan) before we came here. We will study Ireland, Scotland and Japan."
South Africa will have a lengthy wait until a likely quarter-final at Tokyo Stadium on 20 October, and will not know the identity of their opponents until Sunday, when Japan take on Scotland in the final pool match of the tournament.
But Erasmus is not concerned: “We will start preparing on Friday for both teams, and watch the games together. Then it is quite exciting to watch the games after analysing them, and we will make a thing of it to spice it up a bit.
"Then, from Monday, we will have a normal test-match week, although it will be a bit longer.
"We have been together for 16 weeks now, and know how to handle four-day turnarounds, 10-day turnarounds, we will be OK."