Cape Town – Springbok flank Siya Kolisi has admitted that while the squad was happy with a better showing when they narrowly went down 25-24 to the All Blacks at Newlands‚ they would never be satisfied with defeat.
The Boks took a huge step forward after losing 57-0 to the All Blacks in Albany three weeks prior to the Cape Town meeting‚ resulting in one of the great Tests between the old rivals.
But it still ended in defeat for the Springboks‚ which didn’t sit well with Kolisi.
“I think this was the best we’ve played. The one or two mistakes let us down‚” Kolisi said.
“It gives us a lot of confidence. Although we played well‚ we weren’t satisfied at all. We wanted to win badly.
“They capitalised on those mistakes and they are very lethal with that. That is where they score most of their tries – with turnover ball and that was our downfall. But I’ve never been so proud and the way our captain [Eben Etzebeth] led us‚ I don’t think you could have asked for more from him.
“The guys replied‚ especially the guys who got opportunities – Kitsie (Stephen Kitshoff) and Pieter-Steph (du Toit)‚ who played at flank – a lot of people had a lot to say about it but he stood up.
“Wilco Louw‚ when he came on made a huge difference and Malcolm (Marx) was outstanding.
“We had to turn up‚ we had to be on point. Obviously because of that score in Albany and that made a difference‚ and we knew all along that Albany doesn’t define us‚ we are much better than that day‚ where everything went against us.
“The Championship was over but we obviously wanted respect back. The boys stood up well and we stuck to the plans. It was simple.
“This time we said nothing will faze us. No matter what they bring we are going to keep on going‚ we will keep on playing. On and off the field‚ if there are changes of plans or things didn’t go our way‚ it didn’t matter. There was stuff that wasn’t going according to plan and the guys just reacted to the situation.”
Kolisi revealed that he chatted to All Black Sonny Bill Williams after the match and the Kiwi centre said that his team expected a huge backlash from the Boks.
“They [the All Blacks] knew this was going to be a game they needed to turn up for‚” Kolisi said.
“I was speaking to Sonny Bill after the game‚ and he said they knew that this was just our personality.
“He said: ‘we are proud people and it’s tough to play in South Africa‚ because people want us to win all the time. We know that.’
“We didn’t need motivation for today. Everything was set for us to perform. It was a great game of rugby. They brought everything they could and we did too.”
by Craig Ray