Springbok captain Siya Kolisi mentions that at times the team puts their hands up and their main focus was always what they could control on the field, the off the field issues was dealt with by the Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus.
The Springbok coach Jacques said they see losses and challenges as positive as they can build and learn from it and gain momentum, the team felt more prepared especially with the willingness and chasing kicks were extremely dominant in their territory.
This week, the team focuses on more dominance in the scrums. Kolisi adds the support from his family and his wife has been remarkable “ my kids and my wife was there and my wife prays for me and that is amazing that I always have someone talk to “
Nienaber was prompted about Cheslin Kolbe suggested “foul play” he felt the procedures followed for the call of Kolbe was followed duly by officials and that the correct call was made .
The squad faced many challenges said Kolisi, in terms of a leadership group each player enters milestone games and the amount of experience they bring to the game. The creativity was incredible adds Nienaber, on how fortunate they were to have such and incredible group to work with.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber praised the attitude of his players as they put in a convincing improvement against the British & Irish Lions at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, and said the support from the public was equally touching. The Springboks won 27-9 after scoring 21 unanswered points in the second half, with Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am scoring second half tries, and Handre Pollard adding 17 points with the boot. According to Nienaber, the Boks also won all the important scraps in a highly physical and tough Test. The Bok coach said the way the players responded after last week’s defeat – as well as how they took responsibility to improve – made his job easy.
“The players in our leadership group are very experienced, and we are in a fortunate position as coaches to have so many of them,” said Nienaber.
“Last week we lost the kicking game in the second half and the way the players responded during the week to adjust and make better decisions was really great. Sometimes I feel more like a facilitator than a coach with all the great inputs we receive from the guys.”
“The support was amazing, we had so many people outside our hotel from early in the afternoon,” said the Bok coach.
Nienaber said an injury assessment on Pieter-Steph du Toit will be done early in the week. Du Toit was replaced by Kwagga Smith in the 20th minute and the Bok coach praised the impact of the South African replacements.
“Last weekend we lost the second half 19-5, this time we were pretty dominant. We had a good impact off the bench and that helped us a lot,” said Nienaber.
For Springbok captain Siya Kolisi, the win was important as the players knew they needed to rebound in convincing fashion.
“Our focus was intentional this week – we knew what mistakes we made and how not to repeat them,” said Kolisi, who added that they will continue to strive for improvement.
“We had the right attitude to rectify that. It started at training.
“There is still a lot to play for, and we did not have a perfect game – next week will be another battle. Last week’s Test was good for us in that it gave us game time. Another week did wonders for us.”
Source : Fatima Said and SA Rugby Communications