springboks Ireland
Photo: SARugby

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi vowed that his team would give everything when they line up against Ireland, the top-ranked team in the world, at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday and shot down suggestions that it was a revenge match after their heavy defeat in Dublin in 2017.

2022 Castle Lager Outgoing Tour: Springboks Team Photograph
DUBLIN, IRELAND – NOVEMBER 04: The South Africa team during the South Africa men’s national rugby team photograph at Radisson Blu St. Helen’s Hotel on November 04, 2022 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile/Gallo Images)

The Boks wrapped up their on-field preparations on Friday afternoon with their traditional captain’s run at the stadium. Kolisi said he was pleased with the foundation laid this week and that they were ready for the challenge.

“We’ve trained well,” said Kolisi. “Our preparation has been good, and we’ve had a productive week.

“Obviously playing at the Aviva Stadium is going to be a challenge, but we have to adapt as a team just as opposition sides have to adapt when they come to South Africa.”


Asked if the ghosts of their 38-3 defeat against Ireland five years ago was in the back of their minds going into this match, Kolisi said: “We touched on the last match we played against Ireland here and looking back, it was one of the darkest days for us, but this is a new team, and we want to build on what we have done this year.

“We are the third-ranked team in the world and they are No 1, and we plan to give everything against them.”

Kolisi said while a victory would require an effective performance all around, he singled out the breakdowns and defence as two vital areas in the match.

“The breakdown is going to big this weekend if you look at their loose forwards and locks, and also what they’ve done against us in the past,” said Kolisi.

“Ireland are a team that can go for 15 phases or more, but we trust our defence, and we have to make sure that we are effective and disciplined in that area.”

Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick, meanwhile, was excited about having Cheslin Kolbe back in the squad after being sidelined for months with a broken jaw, and he looked forward to the spark the fleet-footed back could potentially bring in his first Test at fullback.

“It’s good to have Cheslin back – he’s a world class player, he is skillful, he has a big heart, and we know what he can do,” said Stick.

“The plan was always to prepare him as back-up for Willie (le Roux), and if you look at the experience between him and Makazole Mapimpi and what Kurt-Lee (Arendse) brings, we have a good balance in the back three, and we’re excited to see what they can do.”

When quizzed about the threat the hosts’ halfback pairing of scrumhalf Conor Murray – who will earn play his 100th Test for the Irish this weekend – and Johnny Sexton would pose, Stick said: “Their halfbacks control their game well, and they draw a lot from Johnny’s presence.

“But that said our priority will be to execute our game plan well because they will probably want to keep the ball as much as possible, meaning we it will be important for us to impose our game plan in the match.”

Source: SARugby