All Blacks’ ‘easy company’ aims to neutralize Springboks’ ‘bomb squad’

South Africa might boast of the might of their so-called ‘Bomb squad’ of replacements, but All Blacks flanker Dalton Papali’i on Tuesday let slip details of New Zealand’s own “Easy Company”.

The highly regarded Springboks bench is stocked with talented players who would be competing for starting positions in many opposing teams, which are frequently forward-heavy.


They proved crucial in South Africa’s 16-15 World Cup semi-final victory over England, when the replacement forwards put the English scrum under the cosh in the closing minutes.

After Ellis Genge buckled under the onslaught from the “Bomb squad,” Handre Pollard ultimately converted the game-winning penalty to go to Saturday’s World Cup final versus New Zealand.

“Talking about the bomb squad, they’ve proven themselves and they can come on and change the game like that,” said Papali’i, who took the place of All Blacks captain Sam Cane in the quarter- and semi-final wins over Ireland and Argentina, respectively.

“Whoever is on the bench needs to be really screwed on up top and given hell,” the coach said.

In the team room, a group of players had reportedly begun watching the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” according to Papali’i.

The series is based on the World War II activities of the Easy Company of the US Army’s 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, the “Screaming Eagles.

“I made a little joke, you know they’ve got the ‘Bomb squad’, so we can have ‘Easy Company’!” Papali’i said.

“We want to go on and finish the job and be in the trenches.”

New Zealand scrum coach Jason Ryan acknowledged that the Springbok “set-piece is phenomenal. They are a big team. They have got a really clear identity of the way they want to play and they’ve got good bits of variation of how they use the ball”.


“This contest is going to be a title fight,” said Ryan.

Turning to South Africa’s replacements, Ryan added: “It would be good to take some gas out of that bomb, wouldn’t it?

“They have got their DNA as a forward pack. We’ve got trust in our plan this week and we believe we will be able to be there right until the end.”

Ryan insisted that the prior outcomes on the way to the Stade de France final were mostly unimportant.

Regarding the Boks’ performance against England, Ryan commented, “I don’t think they let themselves down at all.”

They’re competing in a championship. It doesn’t matter if you win by one point or thirty in the semifinals or quarterfinals. Just make it to the final, that’s all.

They’ll be confident because they understand how to win World Cups. Like us, they adore the big stage. They currently hold the trophy and are the world champions.

“Last week doesn’t matter in this game. What has happened thus far in this tournament and overall are irrel



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