Africa-Press – South-Africa. In Mbombela
“It’s been eight years. I can’t believe it.”
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi made it clear that they have to win Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test against the All Blacks at the Mbombela Stadium to end their eight-year winless home run to their famous foes.
Kolisi has been in countless All Blacks battles, but since his 2013 debut against Scotland at the Mbombela Stadium, he’s never been on the winning side in a home All Blacks Test.
He’s been on the end of thrashings, the thin end of close defeats, but never a winner, lending an air of desperation to Kolisi and how the Boks need to make sure they do what is required of them this Saturday.
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Kolisi admitted the All Blacks remain a classy side despite their current troubles, but the fact they haven’t beaten the All Blacks at home while they’re World Champions remains an issue with him.
“We haven’t won at home against the All Blacks in eight years. That’s our motivation. We can’t control what happens in the All Black camp,” Kolisi said.
“We can only control what we can control and as this group, we’ve never beaten the All Blacks in South Africa.
“That’s what we want to do. We want to play really well, get our plans working and start with intensity. We want to test ourselves against them. They’re an amazing side, we’ve been where they are and it only takes one game to kickstart into form.
“We’re not chilling and thinking about what everyone is thinking. We’re focussing on what we must get right,” he continued.
“We just want to win at home as this group. It’s been eight years. I can’t believe it. We have a World Cup, but we haven’t beaten the All Blacks at home.
“It’s going to be tough though.”
Kolisi has been to the figurative hell and back with the Springboks in his 66 Tests, something that makes him aware of the magnitude of the task that lies ahead of them on Saturday.
The All Blacks have brought more grief than joy to Kolisi, who understands the All Blacks never stop coming at them.
An example was the 2018 Test at Loftus Versfeld, where the All Blacks stayed in the game despite the Boks getting a sizeable lead, which they overturned to win 32-30.
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“They’re not going to stop coming at us and they have starting and bench players who are game-breakers who can make something out of nothing,” Kolisi said.
“It doesn’t matter what the scoreline is, we need to do what we need to do and what we plan to do. If there are opportunities, we’ll take them and always try to be aware of them.
“They do small things that light up the game and those things can change how a game pans out. It’s things like those that we need to be alert to.”
Saturday’s Test kicks off at 17:05.