Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

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

The world champions will now turn their focus to the second Test in Durban this weekend.

It was a big relief for the Springboks to finally get a win over Ireland after three straight losses, but the job is far from done, according to captain Siya Kolisi, as they target a series win over the visitors to South Africa in the second Test in Durban this coming weekend.

The Boks clinched a 27-20 win at Loftus on Saturday night, their first win over the Irish since the last time they toured South Africa back in 2016, when they edged the series 2-1 after losing the first Test in Cape Town before winning the next two in Johannesburg and Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth).

‘Important to win’

Since then the Boks lost in Dublin twice and in France during last year’s World Cup, making this series incredibly important for the entire Bok group, and they are fully focused on backing up their win at Loftus with a second win on the bounce this coming weekend in Durban.

“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,” said Kolisi after Saturday’s match.

“Even in the game today (Saturday), it looked like we would pull away but they came back at us. They are a good team so next week is going to be a proper test for us in Durban.”

In Saturday’s match, Kolisi found himself out in the wide channels a lot more than he usually is, which is down to the new attacking style that coach Tony Brown is trying to bring to the Boks.

‘Enjoyed getting ball’

That allowed the captain to impress with a number of big carries in the game, including a massive bounce of Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw, who was left flat on his back early in the game to set the tone for a physical contest.

“I did enjoy the game. I’m really enjoying the way coach Tony is getting the team to attack as a group and I really enjoyed getting the ball in my hands today,” admitted Kolisi.

“But just being back with the boys and the standards we have set (for ourselves). The coaches set a certain standard and the players keep us accountable to that standard. So it was great from all the boys.

“We’re going to get better each week. We are still learning what coach Tony wants us to do and it is only going to get better (as the season goes on).”

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