Home Sports Kolisi warns Boks ‘history is there to be changed’ as Scotland loom

Kolisi warns Boks ‘history is there to be changed’ as Scotland loom

by centra
It was a tough and tense affair, and referee Ben O'Keeffe had to chat to the captains on a number of occasions.

Kolisi expects the Springboks to be tested in all areas by the “strongest Scotland side” of his career, with several members of the home team having played for the British and Lions during this year’s 2-1 series defeat in South Africa.  

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi said on Friday the way the Springboks ended their Cardiff hoodoo is a warning to take nothing for granted when the world champions face Scotland at Murrayfield this weekend. 

Kolisi’s side are unbeaten against Saturday’s hosts since 2010, a run of six straight wins that includes the 30-year-old’s Test debut eight years ago.

But Scotland head into this weekend’s match on the back of a 15-13 victory at home to Australia.

That result finished a five-match winning streak for the Wallabies, which included two triumphs over the Springboks during the recent Rugby Championship.

South Africa, however, ended an eight-year wait for a win in Cardiff against Wales with a 23-18 success last weekend in the opening match of their tour of Britain.

Siya Kolisi Springboks AFP
Richard Heathcote – World Rugby via Getty Images

“It’s a great record we have (against Scotland) but those records can be broken,” Kolisi told reporters.

“For us, we won last week and we hadn’t won in Cardiff for so many years.

“You can look at that for confidence, but you must still pitch up tomorrow and do the job. 

“Records are always there to be broken and history is there to be changed, so we don’t want to focus on that. We know what we’re there to do,” he added.

Kolisi expects the Springboks to be tested in all areas by the “strongest Scotland side” of his career, with several members of the home team having played for the British and Lions during this year’s 2-1 series defeat in South Africa.  

“They (Scotland) have a very good running game and a very good kicking game,” he said, citing the influence of Scotland playmaker Finn Russell and captain Stuart Hogg.

“We are going to be challenged all around in the game. Their breakdown is pretty good and we saw some crucial steals close to the line.”

Kolisi is also expecting Scotland to be a force at the scrum, a traditional strength of South Africa’s game, with the Springboks’ replacement front row of Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff and Vincent Koch — the so-called “Bomb Squad” — good enough to start for most other Test nations.

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has, somewhat surprisingly, left impressive back-row Hamish Watson on the bench.

But Kolisi, who came up against Watson during the Lions series, said: “As he is coming off the bench they can look to tire us out and then get him on.”

A lot has happened to the 61-times capped Kolisi, the Springboks’ first black captain, since he made his Test debut. But, even now, the memories of a 30-17 success at Nelspruit remain vivid.

“My dad came and watched me for the first time in that game,” he recalled. “We won in the end after being behind throughout the match. I will never forget that game.”

South Africa round off their November tour against England next week in a rematch of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final. @AFP


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