Springboks captain Siya Kolisi takes a selfie with fans after their win against Scotland. Picture Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters
Springboks captain Siya Kolisi takes a selfie with fans after their win against Scotland. Picture Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters

Siya Kolisi wants Springboks to ’open their eyes’ to see attacking opportunities

By Ashfak Mohamed Time of article published Nov 13, 2021

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Cape Town – The Springboks mauled, mauled and mauled again, but they got no joy out of it as Scotland repelled drive after drive from the lineouts.

But in similar fashion to the Rugby World Cup final, the Springboks struck out wide with ruthless precision from broken play to set up a 30-15 victory at Murrayfield on Saturday.

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First Lukhanyo Am majestically stole the ball on the ground around the Scotland 10-metre line, before Kwagga Smith secured possession from the Bok centre, and then Herschel Jantjies found Willie le Roux at flyhalf.

The fullback passed to Damian de Allende, and the No 12 delayed his offload to Siya Kolisi just enough to buy his captain enough space to put Makazole Mapimpi away down the left-hand touchline.

Scotland right wing Rufus McLean made the mistake of giving Mapimpi the outside, and the Bok No 11 burst past for a trademark finish.

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Then early in the second half, Kwagga Smith ripped the ball out of Duhan van der Merwe’s grasp, and the loose ball was picked up by Am, who carried it up the middle.

Cobus Reinach flung the ball out to Le Roux – again stationed at first receiver – who found Elton Jantjies in an even deeper position. But the Bok No 10 whizzed long ball to De Allende, who roared past opposite number Matt Scott and handed-off the hapless McLean before pulling off a one-handed underhand offload to a flying Mapimpi, who did well to hold on and finish.

Both touchdowns proved just how good the South Africans can be with ball-in-hand, and will hopefully inspire them to continue growing their attack in the build-up to their World Cup title defence in France in 2023.

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“We didn’t change anything. I think people always think that we change our strategy for each game. Today we played like we normally play,” Kolisi said in the post-match press conference from Edinburgh.

“It’s just that the opportunity was there. Our game plan and the way we kick … we kick so that we can get the opportunities.

“I think talking to Jacques earlier, when we played against Australia and New Zealand, we just didn’t take the opportunities.

“But that’s what our game plan creates – it was the same as it was in the World Cup final. Our two tries, you will see we didn’t play anything different. We put so much that they knocked on and we won the ball back, and we went to score.

“The first try of Mapimpi was a kick receipt where we got the ball and we went for the blind. There was nothing different to what we normally do. We just took the opportunities very well, and that’s the most important thing.

“Jacques (Nienaber) told us it’s the same as in the World Cup – we just need to open our eyes and see those opportunities, and I thought today, we took those opportunities.”

@ashfakmohamed

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