Siya Kolisi has admitted his Springbok team are desperate for a win against France in Paris today.
The Boks are coming off a one-point defeat by England in London last week and also lost to New Zealand in a tight affair in their final Rugby Championship game in Pretoria a month ago.
In both matches the Boks dominated proceedings but came up short.
“Losing two in a row (like we did) is not ‘lekker’,” said Kolisi in Paris yesterday. Today’s match kicks off at 10pm SA time.
“It’s tough to lose by a point. Of course, we’re desperate. I don’t need to say anything to the players; you can feel it among the boys,” said Kolisi.
“We’ve worked hard this week to get our tour back on track. France are also desperate. All we can do though is focus on ourselves. We’ve put the hard work in and I still believe we’re heading in the right direction.”
Kolisi added his team now simply had to execute their plans better.
“The whole team had a discussion after last week’s game. We know we lost due to our own doing, so we’ve only got ourselves to blame. We simply have to convert at least half of the opportunities we create, and execute better.”
He said the French team, despite being ranked lower than the Boks and battling for consistency, would not be underestimated.
“They’re a really good team. It’s always tough playing against them. A lot of their guys are fresh, some are coming back from injury breaks, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.
“They’ve got a really big pack, which will test our set-piece, while they’ve also got some game-breakers at the back.
“They’ve got a dangerous back-three with the experienced Maxime Medard at 15 and Teddy (Thomas) there on the wing. We know what we’re up against; we watch the Top 14 in South Africa and know the players.”
Kolisi said getting the six overseas-based players, especially Faf de Klerk and Willie le Roux, back this week is a big boost.
“It’s good having them here. They didn’t enjoy watching from the sidelines last week. They’ll bring a lot of experience into the team and even though they play their rugby overseas now you can see the most important thing for them still is putting on the Bok jersey.”