CAPE TOWN – The Springboks have done good things “in bits and pieces” up to now, but captain Siya Kolisi is convinced that if they do it for 80 minutes, they can win a lot of Test matches.
The Boks had their final run-through their plays in the captain’s run at the Westpac Stadium on Friday ahead of the big showdown with the All Blacks tomorrow (9.35am kickoff).
Kolisi and his team were greeted by sunny weather, and will be pleased to know that conditions will be clear at 7.35pm Wellington time at kickoff, with hardly a breath of wind.
So the ball shouldn’t be as slippery as it was at a wet Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane last week, which means that the Boks should have a better chance of cutting out those costly handling errors.
Kolisi feels that those mistakes were what held his team back against the Wallabies, and he is hopeful that they will reduce that tally tomorrow and get greater continuity in their play.
“We have to take those opportunities – we can’t learn every week. We can win Test matches by just taking half of our opportunities sometimes, and I think at the end of the day, it’s all down to the individual errors,” Kolisi said on Friday.
“We must limit those mistakes, and I think we will be better. As soon as you lose, you look at all the bad things and you forget all the good things that you are doing.
“And it’s tough, because we all want results. The good thing about it is that the coaches keep on encouraging us. They know – and I believe it as well – as soon as we get it right… We do it in bits and pieces. If we get it right together for 80 minutes, we will win a lot of Test matches.
“The first two days of this week were tough. You are just thinking about it – what could we have done? When you watch the (Wallaby) game, you actually see if one guy just takes away… If we have less guys making mistakes, we would’ve won the games.
“The previous game as well (against Argentina), the opportunities we had, we didn’t take. And then you start realising ‘You know what, if I make one less mistake, we can win a Test match’.
“So, we are positive and we know that we can beat whoever we want to. It’s just as long as we turn up on the day, limit our mistakes and play for 80 minutes.”
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi said it will be important that the Boks grab their chances against the @AllBlacks: “We want to improve every week. We have to limit individual mistakes and make sure we perform over the 80 minutes because they will punish you for those errors." pic.twitter.com/O4NCh03VFA— South African Rugby (@Springboks) September 14, 2018
Kolisi was one of the Boks who caught the eye against Australia with a number of strong ball-carries, and he will have his hands full again on Saturday against the All Black loose trio of Kieran Read, Sam Cane and Liam Squire.
But while the 57-0 drubbing in Albany last year is still fresh in the memory, the last encounter at Newlands saw the Boks go down 25-24.
It is that fire-and-brimstone display that Kolisi wants to see in Wellington on Saturday.
“The most important thing is to have the same mindset that we had in that (Newlands) game – to give everything that we can and not hold back,” the 27-year-old said.
“It’s huge, it’s huge, knowing that a lot of the guys played in that game in Cape Town. We really believed obviously that we could do it, and we showed (that) in the way we played.
On Friday, the Springboks had their captains run at the Westpac Stadium, skipper Siya Kolisi spoke to the media and the boys received their match day jerseys. @Cheslin_Kolbe11 @fafdeklerk @jantjies_elton #NZLvRSA pic.twitter.com/tct7mBDcKt— South African Rugby (@Springboks) September 14, 2018
“For this weekend, it’s awesome to know that we have people like that who have been through all of that. I know we didn’t win, but they know they can do it in the game.
“We went out there, we had no regrets, and didn’t hold back. And that’s kind of the same position we are in now – as we were last year.
“There’s no better Test match to play than against the best team in the world. The guys are excited, we are going to give it our best shot.”@ashfakmohamed