WATCH: Siya Kolisi says Springboks know England ‘want to prove something’ in Rugby World Cup semi-final

Siya Kolisi says they know England will want to get one over them. Photo: Steve Haag Sports via BackpagePix

Siya Kolisi says they know England will want to get one over them. Photo: Steve Haag Sports via BackpagePix

Published Oct 20, 2023


For each other, for the jersey, and for the people back home.

This will be the main motivation and drive for the Springboks when they run onto the Stade de France pitch tomorrow for the World Cup semi-final against England (9pm kickoff), according to captain Siya Kolisi.

It’s a repeat of the final of the 2019 World Cup in Japan when South Africa, coming in as underdogs, toppled the English 32-12 in Yokohama to claim their third Webb Ellis Cup.

Now, the Boks have to win tomorrow to make it into a second consecutive final, where one of the All Blacks or Argentina will wait.

The two teams play the first semi today in Paris for a final berth.

The good news is that the Boks have never lost to England in a World Cup playoff.

But that doesn’t mean they can just rock up at the Stade de France and they will get the win.

Kolisi said they are well aware that the English will want to make up for last year’s loss at Twickenham (the Boks won 27-13) and for the 2019 final loss.

“We know what happened last year and the previous World Cup (final).

“Lots of their players were there and want to prove something,” Kolisi said.

“They have improved compared to before the World Cup.

“You can see their intent, workrate, aggression they have around the field.

“It’s a completely different team – that’s why they are the only unbeaten team in the tournament.

“They will have their motives, and so will we, which is constant – to play for one another, for the jersey and the people back home.

“We are not silly. Our motivation doesn’t come from without ... it comes from within.”

Unlike in 2019, SA will go into the game as overwhelming favourites after edging France.

The other piece of statistic that swings the pendulum massively to the Boks is that in their previous Stade de France encounters, the defending champions have racked up 95 points against their opponents, while the English only managed 27 points across three games in Paris.

Bok centre Damian de Allende, who will partner Jesse Kriel in midfield once more, added: “There is a bit more confidence, considering we are unchanged. If we had changed a few guys around, there would still be confidence in the squad.

“It’s the way we train and help each other and put each other under pressure during the week – each guy in their position is just as good as the one who is starting.

“We can take a lot of confidence out of last week’s performance, and hopefully we can replicate it on the weekend.

“It’s going to be very physical. It could be raining at the weekend, so there will be a lot of kicking. Hopefully the backs can get some more ball as well.

“We have to stay focused. The way England have been playing they will bring something different to what we faced against France.

“But we’ll be more than prepared for that.

“I’ve played with Jesse a lot.

I’m confident playing with all the guys around me in the squad. Whoever plays on the weekend, we just want the best for each other.

“It’s unfortunate some guys do have to miss out, but whoever plays, we will always do our best.

“Everyone gets on with their job and is ready to make a sacrifice.”