TOKYO, 25 Oct - Rassie Erasmus is regarded by many as a tactical genius but even he is feeling the pressure that a Rugby World Cup semi-final brings.
The coach's biggest concern has been the composition of the Springboks replacements bench for the showdown with Wales in Yokohama on Sunday.
The @Springboks team to face @WelshRugbyUnion in the second #RWC2019 semi-final in #RWCYokohama— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 24, 2019
Just one change from the side that beat hosts Japan 26-3 at Tokyo Stadium last Sunday.#WALvRSA pic.twitter.com/Olh9xP2Sj6
Without the versatile Kolbe, below, his decision to once again opt for six forwards and just two backs among the replacements is a bigger risk than usual.
"I've definitely taken a few sleeping tablets for a few nights to make sure if it's the right call or not," Erasmus said. "It is a bit of a chance you are taking but there have been many games which were close games, where you sit with an extra backline player and you don't use him."
"We've worked out scenarios. That is why Frans Steyn and Herschel Jantjies are versatile. We can use them in a few positions, and Willie (le Roux) can play on the wing, Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am have played wing, Handre Pollard has played at inside-centre. But it's certainly not risk free.
"We see this as having a fresh tight five for 80 minutes on the field, which helps you both on attack and defence and closing up holes, which would be a major challenge for us against very well organised and experienced, big backline players, which the Welsh team have.
"We just feel, when we put those extra six forwards on, it lifts our defensive system, and it obviously helps us when we have the ball, in size and having fresh guys."
South Africa have lost their past four tests against Wales but Erasmus believes it will be different this time. For those defeats he was unable to select his strongest team due to the matches being played outside the international window.
"We expect and want to go all the way and try to win the World Cup. We know it's a tough challenge, and Wales, England and New Zealand want to do it. They are all ranked higher than us and have great coaches and players.
"But we feel we've got as good a chance as those other teams. I don't know who the favourites are, as we believe we can beat them, and they will fully believe that they can beat us. So, that makes for an entertaining game come Sunday."