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By Editorial staff


Boks can’t take foot off pedal

The second and final Test against Ireland is in Durban on Saturday.

Following a wonderful rendition of the national anthem Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika by actress and singer Keabetswe “KB” Motsilanyane at Loftus Versfeld ahead of the Springboks’ Test match against Ireland on Saturday evening, we don’t blame fans calling for her to sing at every home South African rugby match.

“KB” stole the show, with many supporters claiming her idea to extend the microphone to the crowd to sing the last stanza of the anthem earned her the player of the match award and gave the hosts and their supporters the much-needed boost to beat the Irish for the first time since 2016 after losing the prior three matches to Ireland, including a group match at last year’s World Cup in France.

On Saturday the back-to-back world champions held their nerve with a 27-20 triumph over the Irish in front of a packed Loftus crowd. It was head coach Rassie Erasmus’ first victory over the Irish despite leading the Boks to World Cup titles in 2019 and 2023.

ALSO READ: ‘It’s special to beat Ireland … but we want series win,’ says Bok skipper Kolisi

The second and final Test takes place in Durban this Saturday.

Bok captain Siya Kolisi said: “This game was important for us, especially as we haven’t been able to beat them (since 2016). So for our group it’s special, but it’s not done yet, we want to win the series and we know they are going to come back harder next week.”

Kolisi warned “we’re going to get better each week”, which is fantastic news for Springbok fans ahead of the series decider, a first Portugal clash this month and the Rugby Championship later this season.

The Boks were good for the majority of the match, but were far from their best, and despite the Irish trailing by some margin towards the end, the visitors pushed the home side close right until the final whistle.

ALSO READ: ‘Monkey not off our back just yet’ — Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus

Flyhalf Handrè Pollard, one of the heroes of the 2023 World Cup campaign, uncharacteristically missed three shots at goal, while the Irish were superior at the breakdowns. The Boks produced some innovative attacking play, but left some holes in defence.

The Boks will need to bring their A game on Saturday, and it wouldn’t harm them to have KB singing the anthem again.

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