JOHANNESBURG - Springbok captain Siya Kolisi says the only way they can secure a second consecutive victory against England and clinch the series in Bloemfontein is by lifting the intensity of the game.
The Springboks ability to speed up play with ball in hand with the influence of scrumhalf Faf de Klerk’s crisp service saw the South Africans claw themselves back from a 21 point deficit in the first Test in Johannesburg to emerge 42-39 winners.
Kolisi says that it will be critical for his side to eradicate the errors especially in the beginning of the game which caught them off guard at Ellis Park and that the bench must also play their part in finishing off the game when called on to contribute.
“I think it is simple for us. It is all about intensity and we want to make sure we start with it. I think we did last week although obviously we made mistakes but we want to keep it for 80 minutes,” Kolisi said.
“There are no guys who have travelled back from America. We are all here. We’ve had a whole proper week together so we want to make sure that we start off on a high and the guys that come on as well also keep up the intensity and we don’t drop off.”
Kolisi also acknowledged that mistakes will creep into their game but with the work they have put in during their week in Bloemfontein, the abrasive flank wants his team to do everything in their power to ensure that they clinch the series with a game to spare.
England have never won a series on South African soil with their last Test win ironically coming in Bloemfontein in 2000 when flyhalf Johnny Wilkinson slotted eight penalties and a drop-goal to secure a 27-22 win.
“That’s our team motto you know. You’ve got to do it no matter how, find a way to do it no excuses and that is what the coach expects from us. He does the same with his work, he makes sure he prepares. And if you make a mistake, you just own up and you move on,” said Kolisi.
“Obviously we would love to win the series this week and we are always striving to win every game. We can only control what we can and the guys that played last week are more calm now, we are focussed. All that we want to do is make sure that the process we want to go through happens on the field. If we can win it this week it will be amazing.”
With only two changes to the Springboks starting line-up with Frans Malherbe starting at tighthead prop in place of Wilco Louw and Pieter-Steph du Toit at blindside flank for Jean-Luc du Preez, Kolisi believes the week together has been beneficial for the team and in them getting some cohesion going.
“I think this week has done us a world of good to be together and we are calm. That first match thing is out of the system. For me too last week was a lot and there was a lot going on. The guys are more calm this week. We are still going to make mistakes no doubt but we are more calm than we were last week,” added Kolisi.