Springbok captain Siya Kolisi on the charge… (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
- Captain Siya Kolisi says the Springboks need to make the most of the opportunities that come their way when they face the All Blacks at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
- The Boks were guilty of not taking the opportunities that presented themselves in last week’s loss to the All Blacks in Townsville.
- The Boks need to win to avoid matching their unwanted 2016 record of four consecutive losses.
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi says they not only need to stand up and be counted in Saturday’s final Rugby Championship game against New Zealand but also need to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.
The Boks have not only lacked a killer instinct but have been unable to take genuine try-scoring opportunities when presented to them.
Last week’s 19-17 loss to the All Blacks in Townsville was a prime example of this as the Boks gained good field position, only for them to cede that advantage by kicking the ball away.
This played out in the last six minutes of the absorbing Test where the Boks had the All Blacks scuttling on defence, but halfbacks Faf de Klerk and Handre Pollard opted to kick despite numerical advantages wide.
Kolisi said they needed to play what was in front of them and grab the opportunities that came their way.
“When we see the opportunities, we need to take them in Saturday’s game,” Kolisi said.
“They’re not going to be handed out on a silver platter, and we really need to stand up and be counted.
“If one sees the opportunity in front of them, they need to take it. That’s our process for the game on Saturday.
“If you want to have the ball in hand, you need to go there and ask for it, so the guys just need to be themselves.
“That’s going to be our process for the game. If you want to get the ball and crash into people if necessary, then that needs to happen.
“We need to be ourselves in the game on Saturday.”
That the Springboks haven’t won in Australia is something that bothers Kolisi to no end.
Kolisi was part of the Bok group that lost four consecutive Tests in 2016 but plays in a far better side now, which should be doing better than the results suggest.
For Kolisi, though, only the result that matters, and despite the fact he was a warrior in last week’s loss in the 100th Test against the All Blacks, it meant little to him because of the game not being won.
“Results can and will affect everything because what matters is whether we have won or lost,” Kolisi said.
“You can’t even celebrate individual performances when you lose. The most important thing is for the team to win.
“No amount of complaining will help, and the only thing that will help cure a lot of pain is a win on Saturday.”
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 David Havili, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Luke Jacobson, 7 Ardie Savea (captain), 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 George Bower, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Damian McKenzie
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn