Cheslin Kolbe has called on the Springboks to pick themselves up after a disappointing attacking performance against the All Blacks. JON CARDINELLI in Yokohama reports.
The Boks dominated possession and territory during the early stages of the Pool B opener in Yokohama on Saturday. Their kicking game troubled the All Blacks, and yet they only managed to score three points over the course of the first half.
Kolbe was one of the standout performers for the Boks in the 23-13 defeat by the All Blacks. That said, the wing was caught by All Blacks flyhalf Richie Mo’unga and hauled into touch late in the second half.
‘I probably should have made an earlier decision to go to the outside,’ Kolbe said with a laugh afterward. ‘But Richie showed good wheels to get me back into the corner [and into touch]. I just need to make sure that I finish things off when I get another chance like that.’
Kolbe lamented the collective attacking performance. If the Boks had taken their chances in the first half, they may well have gone into half time with a commanding lead.
As it was, the All Blacks punished the Boks’ mistakes to score two tries and lead 17-3 at the break.
‘It’s a World Cup. You come here to win and it’s important to start well and get the momentum going,’ said Kolbe.
‘Unfortunately we just couldn’t capitalise on this occasion. What made things worse was that they capitalised on our mistakes.
‘It’s early days in the campaign and we just need to keep working hard,’ he added. ‘We need to keep our heads up high. It’s important to have a good mindset going forward.’
The Boks will play Namibia, Italy and Canada in the buildup to the playoffs.
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