Boks expect backlash

Kolisi insists All Blacks will come out for revenge after their shock loss to SA in their last Test in Wellington

Cheslin Kolbe keeps a close watch on Bok captain Siya Kolisi during the team’s captain’s run at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on Friday.
Cheslin Kolbe keeps a close watch on Bok captain Siya Kolisi during the team’s captain’s run at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on Friday.
Image: Christiaan Kotze/GALLO IMAGES

Springbok captain Siyamthanda Kolisi said they expect the All Blacks to raise their intensity in today’s Rugby Championship Test at Loftus Versfeld.

The game itself is a dead rubber from a tournament perspective but the Springboks unexpectedly beat the All Blacks in Wellington last month.

It was a shock defeat that caught the New Zealand nation by surprise, and retribution is expected to be swift and brutal.

The loss the All Blacks incurred was their first at home in the Rugby Championship against South Africa or any Test side in nine years.

“I think they’ll take it up a notch and they’ve made it clear that they’re coming here to win this game. We don’t want to be shocked by their intensity. We need to be ready from the start,” Kolisi said.

“I think they’ll take it up a notch and they’ve made it clear that they’re coming here to win this game. We don’t want to be shocked by their intensity. We need to be ready from the start,” Kolisi said.

“We want to make sure that the same intensity we had for the All Black game is there, if not more.

“In that game, we weren’t worried because we knew we were playing against the best team in the world. All we could do was to do our best. That’s the same mentality that we have for this game.”

It was never going to be easy for the Springboks to find their feet after their momentous win in Wellington, but Kolisi said they don’t want to be defined by that single result.

The Springboks lost two consecutive matches to Argentina and Australia away before the victory.

Kolisi said they were still a work in progress, which holds true as the Springboks have yet to find their perfect game.

In the Wellington Test, they conceded an early lead before the fight back.

In last week’s Test against Australia in Port Elizabeth, the Springboks started well before letting the Wallabies back into the game.

The Boks then relied on a superb defensive effort to prevent Australia from scoring in the second half.

“We won that game and that was a huge thing, but we know we’re in a rebuilding process. We were very excited and happy that the win happened but the biggest drive is for us to get better with each game.”

All Black loose-forward Sam Cane said they weren’t resting on their glorious past record in Tshwane as the Springboks seem to have a different edge to them.

New Zealand haven’t lost to the Springboks in four attempts in the capital city in the professional era.

Cane was 14 the last time the All Blacks played at Loftus and occupies the position that belonged to then captain Richie McCaw.

The All Blacks are also renowned for their big match temperament, but Cane said they can’t rely on the past to deliver present results.

“Those were different years with different players and different teams. We just have to make sure that we prepare really well and turn up ready to work really hard and empty the tank,” Cane said.

“Traditionally, we’ve come together well for big challenges but you can’t rest on that for other games.”

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