Saturday Star - - SPORT -


SIYA Kolisi has ad­mit­ted his Spring­bok team are des­per­ate for a win against France in Paris to­day.

The Boks are com­ing off a one-point de­feat by Eng­land in Lon­don last week and also lost to New Zealand in a tight af­fair in their fi­nal Rugby Cham­pi­onship game in Pre­to­ria a month ago.

In both matches the Boks dom­i­nated pro­ceed­ings but came up short.

“Los­ing two in a row (like we did) is not ‘lekker’,” said Kolisi in Paris yes­ter­day. To­day’s match kicks off at 10pm SA time.

“It’s tough to lose by a point. Of course, we’re des­per­ate. I don’t need to say any­thing to the play­ers; you can feel it among the boys,” said Kolisi.

“We’ve worked hard this week to get our tour back on track. France are also des­per­ate. All we can do though is fo­cus on our­selves. We’ve put the hard work in and I still be­lieve we’re head­ing in the right di­rec­tion.”

Kolisi added his team now sim­ply had to ex­e­cute their plans bet­ter.

“The whole team had a dis­cus­sion af­ter last week’s game. We know we lost due to our own do­ing, so we’ve only got our­selves to blame. We sim­ply have to con­vert at least half of the op­por­tu­ni­ties we cre­ate, and ex­e­cute bet­ter.”

He said the French team, de­spite be­ing ranked lower than the Boks and bat­tling for con­sis­tency, would not be un­der­es­ti­mated.

“They’re a re­ally good team. It’s al­ways tough play­ing against them. A lot of their guys are fresh, some are com­ing back from in­jury breaks, but we’re look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge.

“They’ve got a re­ally big pack, which will test our set-piece, while they’ve also got some game-break­ers at the back.

“They’ve got a dan­ger­ous back-three with the ex­pe­ri­enced Maxime Medard at 15 and Teddy (Thomas) there on the wing. We know what we’re up against; we watch the Top 14 in South Africa and know the play­ers.”

Kolisi said get­ting the six over­seas­based play­ers, es­pe­cially Faf de Klerk and Wil­lie le Roux, back this week is a big boost.

“It’s good hav­ing them here. They didn’t en­joy watch­ing from the side­lines last week. They’ll bring a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence into the team and even though they play their rugby over­seas now you can see the most im­por­tant thing for them still is putting on the Bok jersey.” |

der Westhuyzen

Jac­ques van

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.