An overcast and rainy day is in the offing with a 60 percent chance of evening precipitation, but the Springboks remained as cool and collected as they have been throughout their time in Japan.
“The weather’s the same for both sides so irrespective of what it’s like, both teams will have to play in it,” said Matt Proudfoot, assistant coach.
“We have trained in Japan for two weeks or so now and we have experienced the weather differentials – whether it has been hot and humid or dry or rainy – so we’ve had the opportunity to experience the full spectrum of weather and we’ll prepare as such for Saturday.
“Our plan won’t change much but if the weather changes during the game we’ll re-assess that.
“The plan to come here two weeks in advance to play the game against Japan was exactly for that reason – to experience the full range of weather condition and I think that plan has been successful.”
Damian de Allende agreed, although the current conditions are different to his previous Japanese experience: “When I played (club rugby) here, it was in November and the weather was a lot colder and the ball was a lot drier – it didn’t rain a lot.
“But it has been very hot and humid and the ball has been quite wet and the plan against Japan was not to overplay. We’ll be ready for whatever comes.”
Meanwhile, New Zealand are preparing across town for an eagerly awaited clash with questions swirling on what impact the result would have on the campaign of both the winner and loser – presuming it is not a repeat of the drawn last meeting between the teams.
“Our mindset in 2019 is to generate a lot of momentum and it would always be good to keep that going,” said Proudfoot.
“It’s not ideal to start a competition on the back foot and I think both teams understand that and are really focused on that.
“But the nature of the contest between the two teams is so close for the past 18 months – post that big defeat in New Zealand in 2017 – that the result is pretty much going to overshadow the impact the outcome will have on the tournament.
“It’s another game against New Zealand. It’s going to be such a tight game, small executions that will determine the outcome of the game. I don’t think that if you win this game, you are now all of a sudden a hot favourite for the tournament.
“The competition hasn’t even started and there is so much rugby to be played. We just really enjoy playing against the All Blacks. It’s measuring yourself against one of the best teams in the world – a team that understands us, and we understand really well.”