Siya Kolisi is confident the Springboks will deliver an improved performance against the Wallabies in their Castle Lager Rugby Championship showdown in Brisbane on Saturday as they keep their eyes firmly fixed on defending their title this season.
The Springboks need to win the match to stay in the title race after their last-minute 28-26 defeat against Australia in Gold Coast last week, as they now trail the All Blacks – who they will face in back-to-back Tests in the next two weeks – by five log points.
The clash, which will be hosted at the Suncorp Stadium, kicks off at 17h05 (09h05 SA time) and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.
With only three victories in 15 matches against Australia in Brisbane to date, Kolisi was clear about the challenge the team would face this week, but he said remaining in a position to win the Castle Lager Rugby Championship was their main priority.
“If we are not disciplined, we won’t get the results we want, and that record (winning three out of 15) won’t change,” said the Springbok captain.
“Since I’ve been playing (for the Springboks) I think I’ve won at the Suncorp Stadium once (2013).
“But that said, we knew how tough it would be coming to play in Australia, so we’d like to change that (win record) and more importantly we want to win the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.
“We had a short week in which we had to recover and put in the hard work for this game, and we are confident the guys will pitch up this weekend.”
Kolisi said after an honest assessment of their performance last week as a unit and as individuals, the Boks know what they have to do to bounce back this week.
“We knew exactly where we went wrong and it was upsetting to lose like that,” said Kolisi.
“There are things we usually do that we didn’t bring on the day, and we made mistakes.
“We are even more determined this week.
“We worked hard on what we have to do, and as players we looked at our game as individuals and want to do better.
“All credit to Australia (for their performance last week), but I believe we will be much better this week.”
Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick emphasised the importance of delivering a quality performance from start to end and said: “Our players and coaches were hurting after the last game.
“We prepared well, but things didn’t go according to plan.
“That said, I have no doubt we have what it takes (to bounce back). We have to put in an 80-minute performance, that’s all.”
Zooming in on their game, Stick said the aerial battle, creating opportunities on attack and creating pressure in every department, including the set pieces would be vital.
“The aerial contest is a massive part of our game and we’ll keep fighting to get into that battle,” said Stick.
“We’ll always look to create space for the outside backs, and when the chances are on, they have the freedom to make decisions and take those chances. The most important thing for us though is the pressure game. That’s how we play.” @SARUGBY
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