Springbok Captain Siya Kolisi said in a virtual briefing in Australia on Friday that the mood in the camp has increased tremendously due to the amount of work put in collectively by the team. “Given what we bring in this week more to last week, we worked hard individually and Australia played well, we can be better this week, “ he said.
Assistant Coach Mzwandile Stick mentioned the massive debate on selections but said the team has gained continuity and that the 6/2 split will in essence not affect selection so there would be no need for panic. Attention rose towards the chasing of kicks during last week’s game with the possible alternative plan for the team being dealing with the speed of the game and working with and understanding the officials. “We did address the issue, at the moment we are in a good space with match officials,” he said.
Stick said that playing “Champagne” Rugby is not for the team in terms of time, space and unpredictability. “Once space is created the players will have freedom to make those decisions. The most important aspect is to play the pressure game,” he said.
Captain Siya Kolisi added, “In terms of the forwards and their set pieces, scrum battles for the team brings a lot of energy to the team. Scrum resets and counter rucks around the 22 are always an advantage for the team. It is good to play against men like that, nice battle for the team, great battle, they are always hungry.”
Kolisi also mentioned the variations of laws. “If any laws change, the coaching staff would provide the support to players. There is an opportunity to chat to the referees and with touch judges. There’s always communication between referees and coaching staff, “he said.
When asked about the team possibly losing the Championship, Kolisi stressed about discipline. “If we are not disciplined, we will not get results. We only won once in Suncorp and we knew that coming here we would need to change that to be in the rugby Championship,” he said.
” It’s not a case of us not looking for opportunities, just look at the try-scoring record with someone like Makazole Mapimpi, he’s on 16 tries in 19 games. We have a guy like Cheslin Kolbe who normally scores week in and out. When it comes to us creating spaces for them, it’s something that’s part of the game, but they must make the decisions to know when it’s on and then take the opportunities,” he said.
Kick off against Australia is at 9.05 (SA Time)
Story by Fatima Said
Photo by SA Rugby