CAPE TOWN – Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi is happy that they won the three-Test series against England, but the fact that they have to wait for the Rugby Championship to get back to winning ways is a “bitter” one.
The Boks won the series 2-1 after impressive comeback victories in Johannesburg and Bloemfontein, but they couldn’t make it a series whitewash in a wet and windy Cape Town on Saturday.
Tactically, the Boks were outperformed by England’s kickers in the 25-10 loss, while their decision-making and mistakes also made it a tough evening at Newlands.
And after the game, Kolisi said that during training in the build-up to the Test, there were no signs that the team weren’t up to making it 3-0.
“What hurts the most is that we could have controlled the outcome of this game.
“Our discipline also let us down,” he said. “There were honestly no signs at training, everybody was focused.”
Kolisi also credited the English for their tactics.
“I think England were really smart, they slowed everything down and we fell into that trap.
“This game was something to learn from. After today it’s tough, but I’m really glad we won the series. It’s really bitter because now we have two months to wait (for the Rugby Championship).
“We worked hard, but England were better today.”
While the Boks can look forward to the Rugby Championship to try and rack up a few more wins, No 8 Duane Vermeulen won’t be part of the Boks’ Championship campaign, and after the game at the weekend, Vermeulen said that it’ll be tough to miss out on spending more time with the team.
“It will be difficult to be away from the side now. I’ve spoken to Rassie (Erasmus) and we’ve got a plan, and there will be an opportunity to discuss things further over the next few weeks,” he said.
“It’s great being back and pulling this green jumper over your head again. It’s great to be part of a young squad.”
After parting ways with French side Toulon, Vermeulen told the media that he would give more clarity on his near future at the conclusion of the series against Eddie Jones’ England, and initially he was expected to play at least some part in the Rugby Championship.
But during the post-match press conference on Saturday, Vermeulen confirmed that he won’t be available for the contests against New Zealand, Australia and Argentina.
It is believed that Vermeulen will join one of the Japanese clubs, but it’s something he chose not to confirm.
And when asked if he’ll be heading to the Far East, Vermeulen just smiled and said “You never know”.
One thing that Vermeulen was willing to make clear is his desire to feature in next year’s World Cup in Japan.
“These guys are just so excited to play for one another. I’m happy to be back, and hope to be a part of the side in the future Test, not in the Rugby Championship, but we’ll see what happens down the road.
“It a great team with a great captain in Siya.
“It’s an exciting phase leading up to the World Cup. I would be happy to be part of that and give my 110 percent,” he said.