Springbok captain Siya Kolisi has adopted a positive attitude to the pressure on the team on the eve of their vital second Test against the British & Irish Lions at Cape Town Stadium today, and said they were determined to improve the quality of their performance.
A victory for the Springboks would level the Castle Lager Lions Series at one all with one Test remaining next week, after the Lions’ 22-17 victory in the opening Test last week.
“Of course, we feel a lot of pressure, but we must focus on what we can control and fix the mistakes we made,” said Kolisi.
“We responded well this week and trained well, and we are looking forward to the match. We know we have to stand up in times like these.”
With many likening the Boks’ defeat last week to their opening Rugby World Cup match against New Zealand in 2019 before bouncing back to become the world champions, Kolisi said although there were some similarities, the nature of the Castle Lager Lions Series made this different.
“There are some similarities to losing against New Zealand in our opening game in the World Cup, but this is different because this tournament is only played every 12 years, while the World Cup is played every four years, so we may not have another opportunity (to win this series),” said Kolisi.
“We have to turn it up and we are looking forward to the match.”
Kolisi was thrilled to see No 8 Jasper Wiese earn his first Test start after making his debut off the replacements bench against Georgia at the beginning of the month.
“Jasper is excited and he has shown what he can do,” said Kolisi.
“But as a team we need to get into the groove as quickly as possible, and we need to get the ball into his hands because that is what he likes. I’m excited to see him get this opportunity.”
With a lot of controversy over the match officials and referee calls in last week’s first Test, Kolisi said: “I’m looking forward to this game.
I am confident that Ben O’Keeffe will give a fair opportunity to both captains.”
The match kicks off at 18h00 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.