WELLINGTON, New Zealand - South Africa captain Siya Kolisi did little to ease any fears that his side can arrest their slide in the Rugby Championship ahead of their clash with the All Blacks on Saturday.
The Springboks have lost their last two matches in the southern hemisphere competition while the All Blacks are on the verge of clinching their third successive title with two games remaining.
While coach Rassie Erasmus may have been exaggerating when he said defeat to the All Blacks on Saturday could have him fired, Kolisi said the most he expected from his team when they leave Wellington Regional Stadium was knowing they had played their best.
"No matter what the consequences are, as long as we walk off the field and we can look at each other in the eye and we can say we've given it our best shot," he told reporters on Friday. "That's what he (Erasmus) wants from us."
Despite the possible defeatist message emanating from the Springboks, Kolisi was arguably attempting, like his coach, to ask for some time for his side to develop. Erasmus has said consistently since he took over late last year, after Allister Coetzee was sacked, that his goal was to make his side competitive at next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan, where they face the All Blacks for the first time in pool play.