Irish loss was good test for Springboks — Siya Kolisi
Although it was a disappointing loss in the end, Kolisi admitted he was proud of the effort of his charges, while he gave full credit to Ireland.
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi is tackled by Irish inside centre Bundee Aki during their World Cup pool match on Saturday night. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi said that the 13-8 loss that his team suffered against Ireland in their pool B clash at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis on Saturday night wasn’t the end of the world and would prepare them better going forward.
The Boks played well enough to win, missing four shots at goal amounting to 11 points which was crucial in a five point loss, while they also created numerous other opportunities but were unable to convert.
But they are still on track to make it into the competition knockouts if they claim a big win over Tonga in their final pool match this coming weekend and Kolisi believes the Irish loss will stand them in good stead going forward.
“This whole pool is exactly what we need going forward. To test ourselves against the number one team in the world is great for us and just shows what they are capable of, “ said Kolisi after the match.
“Obviously we will now go back (to the drawing board). We have Tonga next weekend which is really important.”
Although it was a disappointing loss in the end, Kolisi admitted he was proud of the effort of his charges, while he gave full credit to Ireland for their strong performance.
“We would have loved to win but it was a great and intense game. Congrats to them, they played really well. They were able to hold the pressure and got their try in the first half which was important,” said Kolisi.
“I am proud of the way we played. I think we left few opportunities out there, while they also did. But it was a great test for us as a group.”
One of the big aspects in Ireland’s win was a barnstorming performance from inside centre Bundee Aki on his 50th appearance for them as he claimed his second consecutive man-of-the-match award, but he instead heaped praise on his team mates and the Boks.
“Fair play to the boys for playing so well today. South Africa are an outstanding team, they aren’t world champions for no reason. They gave it to us from the beginning to end,” said Aki.
“I guarantee you whatever happens we will probably see them again and it will be a bigger game with a lot more pressure.
“As a group and team we knew coming into this game we had to be a lot better in all aspects of our play despite our two good wins (against Romania and Tonga). We knew it was going to be tough. We had to trust each other and believe in ourselves and it came off for us in the end.”