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Pietersen confident Springboks are now up and running at World Cup

JP Pietersen is confident there will be no repeat of South Africa's shock defeat to Japan when the two-time World Cup champions chase top spot in Pool B against Scotland and the United States.

Saturday's 46-6 victory over Samoa, featuring a hat-trick of Pietersen tries, saw the Springboks go some way to making amends for their Brighton beating at the hands of the Japanese.

The bonus-point success at Villa Park means wins over Scotland in Newcastle and the USA at the Olympic Stadium will see South Africa, winners in 1995 and 2007, claim a more favourable quarter-final draw against the runners-up in Pool A.

And England, Wales and Australia - all vying to qualify from the so-called 'Group of Death' - will be keen to avoid the resurgent Springboks on the evidence of the Samoa smashing.

"We got a big wake-up call last week. Everybody got a big shock," Sharks wing Pietersen said.

"The way we performed here, I doubt it will happen again. There's a lot of confidence coming out of the game, with the way everybody put their hands up.

"We had a good talk the whole week about everybody stepping up their performance and I think the whole team stepped up with a special win.

"We can just build on that and go forward for next week against Scotland.

"Whatever we did this week we just have to do it next week again."

Injury news is awaited, with captain Jean de Villiers (jaw) among those requiring treatment after the win, but South Africa can now look forward.

They have 11 wins in their last 12 matches with Scotland - the exception a 21-17 loss in teeming Edinburgh rain in November 2010 - and have won all three of their meetings with the USA by at least 23 points.

But Pietersen is refusing to get too far ahead of himself in predicting top spot in a Pool B blown wide open by Japan.

"We can't say that yet," he said.

"We just have to focus on Scotland next week and if the result goes well, we've got USA. There's still two games left in the pool.

"Scotland is also on top, they won their first game. The pool is there still to win."

Samoa scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i anticipated a backlash, but maintains the Pacific Islanders, who next face Japan and then Scotland, can advance.

"We're not down and out. We've a couple of games left now and we've got to look ahead," the Northampton number nine said.

"We knew it was going to be tough. They had a bashing from the media and we knew we had to front up.

"A great team like South Africa are not a top-tier nation for nothing.

"We were stuck in our half. Set-piece for us didn't go so well (and) it's tough defending for 80 minutes."

Samoa play Japan in Milton Keynes on October 3 and then face Scotland in Newcastle a week later.

They will not be underestimating Japan, even if the Scotland game is more likely to be decisive in determining a place in the knockout stages.

"We're not focused on Scotland at all. Our focus now is Japan," he added.

"They've got their tails up. We know we've got another tough task ahead of us and we know we've got to improve."


From Belfast Telegraph