South Africa captain Siya Kolisi has said next Saturday’s decisive game against the British and Irish Lions in Cape Town is potentially more important than their victory in the Rugby World Cup final against England he two years ago.
CAPE TOWN: South African captain Siya Kolisi has said next Saturday’s decisive game against the British and Irish Lions in Cape Town is potentially more important than their Rugby World Cup final victory over England a year ago two years.
The Springboks tied the three-game series with a murderous and moody 27-9 win over the Lions on Saturday, a gruesome game that spanned two hours with a large number of saves for controversial game references. official television stations.
A loss for the Boks would have meant a series loss and that desperation on both sides, with the Lions hoping to finish the job, manifested itself in a small display that sometimes threatened to spill over.
“It was the same pressure we felt at the World Cup, but now it’s a bit more because that (a Lions streak) only happens every 12 years,” Kolisi told reporters.
“Here we go. We’re going to start over. Nothing is different. We’re just going to try and do what we did today even harder.
“Nothing will change for us. We just have to do things better, and in the set piece, try to win more balls and get more dominance in the scrums. Work harder off the ball. And everything. depends on who can control the kicking game. “
South African rugby director Rassie Erasmus had launched an offensive against match officials following the 22-17 first test loss, and there were again many controversial decisions, although this time they seemed to favor the Boks.
Not least was a potential red card for winger Cheslin Kolbe when he knocked down Lions scrum half Conor Murray in mid-air, but instead got away with a yellow.
Kolisi said the players put aside the controversy surrounding Erasmus’s statements and focused only on what they can do on the pitch.
“As a team, we go back to what we know with systems, team structures, working on fixes. Each individual is looking at what to do.
“That’s what we went to because you can’t control everything, but what we can apply on the pitch is what we focused on.”
Kolisi had said he didn’t get the same “respect” as his Lions counterpart Alun Wyn Jones in Australian referee Nic Berry’s first test, but praised New Zealander Ben O’Keeffe for his performance Saturday.
“Today was better. I went to see Ben before, it was great working with him. He came to me afterwards and said ‘Thank you’. (Assistant) Mathieu (Raynal) also, the referee next week. “
(Reporting by Nick Said; editing by Clare Fallon)