It was by far his most rewarding performance after 18 Springbok Tests, flanker Siya Kolisi revealed following his rousing, five-star effort in the series-clinching 37-15 win over France in Durban at the weekend.
Kolisi was deservedly named Man-of-the-Match after he scored one try and played a crucial role in two of the Boks’ other three tries.
“It’s by far the best I have felt after a game with the Boks, but we have worked hard and before every training we do our skills sessions,” he said.
“It comes from the franchises where everyone contributes to make us better players, so when you get to the Boks you don’t have to do everything, you just have to touch up. There’s simply not enough time.”
Despite losing fellow flank Oupa Mohoje as early as the 14th minute, Kolisi felt the stellar performance of replacement Jean-Luc du Preez was testament to the new-found spirit of the Boks.
“It was tough to see Oupa go and Jean-Luc doesn’t need encouraging, but our loosies are a great bunch,” Kolisi said.
“A guy like Jaco (Kriel) wasn’t even playing, yet he worked even harder than any of us in the week.”
The work at the breakdowns and collisions of the Boks were an eye-opener, but Kolisi said their coaches had painted a broader picture.
“The coaches have given us a lot of freedom and a lot of responsibility,” he said.
“They give us options but the main focus was to play the game on our feet.”
While he was previously unsure about his place at No 6 or 7, Kolisi seemed to play anywhere on Saturday, flaunting a wide range of skills.
“I used to worry a lot about where I was playing, but I love the game and I don’t worry where I play as long as I get the chance.”