Siya Kolisi says the Springboks are desperate to claim their first win in the northern hemisphere since 2015. JON CARDINELLI in Dublin reports.
It’s been more than two years since the Boks beat Argentina in the 2015 World Cup bronze-medal match in London. Since then, the Boks have been largely unsuccessful away from home and have failed to register a single victory in the northern hemisphere.
Overall, Allister Coetzee’s Boks have won one, drawn one and lost seven of their nine away fixtures. Last November, South Africa slumped to their first defeat against England in 10 years, went down to Italy for the first time ever, and then sustained a record loss to Wales in Cardiff.
When will they snap that losing streak? One can’t see them beating Ireland this week in Dublin, given their lack of experience and Ireland’s strength across the board. Perhaps they will get over the line when they tackle France in Paris or Italy in Padua in subsequent weeks.
On Thursday, Kolisi said the Boks aren’t looking that far ahead. The group clearly believes that a win against Ireland is within their capabilities and that the northern hemisphere drought will end this Saturday.
‘We want to start the tour off well. We know how important momentum is on tours like these,’ the Bok vice-captain said. ‘This game [against Ireland] is for us the most important game.
‘We’re still going to stick to our system,’ he added. ‘That’s our main focus. Obviously we want to win, but we’ve got to stick to the system and work hard for each other.
‘Every now and then we remind ourselves about where we are and where we want to be. We have to keep on going.
‘That’s how this team functions. That’s the culture.’
Photo: Anne Laing