CAPE TOWN – While they “still think about it”, the Springboks have put their defeat to Argentina behind them and are preparing to face the Wallabies with renewed vigour, says captain Siya Kolisi.
The Boks stumbled to a 32-19 defeat to Los Pumas in Mendoza two weeks ago, after winning with a bonus point seven days earlier in Durban.
That result means that the South Africans have to get the better of the Wallabies at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday (12pm SA time kickoff) to stay in the Rugby Championship race with the All Blacks.
“We have already (put the Mendoza defeat behind us). But obviously it still… we still think about it, and we are excited to play this weekend, to make sure that we give our best again.
“And to win away from home would be good, and we need this win to still have a chance of winning the competition,” Kolisi said on Friday in Brisbane.
“We’re not at a stage where we say: ‘We can’t win away’,” the rugby.com.au website further reported Kolisi as saying.
“This game this weekend is very important for both of us, for the championship as well. Playing away games, we didn’t have a good record.
“This game for the championship is very important, and it is very important for Australia as well to keep the competition alive.”
Despite the late withdrawal of David Pocock on Friday, the Boks will still have to contend with a tough breakdown battle against the Wallabies, with captain Michael Hooper also a renowned fetcher.
Kolisi, who is back at openside flank, doesn’t generally play towards the ball in general, but said that the Boks will produce a collective effort at the rucks.
“We haven’t spoken specifically about plans for him, but we know how good he is. And you can’t really just watch him because if we just watch him, Michael Hooper will have a go as well,” Kolisi said before Pocock was sidelined.
“We know in general Australia is good at the breakdown, so it’s something we know about, are aware about and have trained for it.
“In the modern-day rugby game, everybody can be a fetcher, so there’s a couple of guys who play other positions who can do the job.”
The Boks will look to shore up their defence as well, especially against a rejigged Wallaby backline, where Kurtley Beale has been moved to flyhalf in place of Bernard Foley, while Israel Folau has recovered from an ankle injury.
“Putting Kurtley Beale there, obviously they want to attack. He’s a very good attacking flyhalf,” Kolisi said according to the racingandsports.com.au website.