Siya Kolisi: ‘We’re hurting. That wasn’t close to our best, we know’

If Ireland were ever in any doubt about the likelihood of a fierce response from South Africa in Saturday’s second Test, Springboks flanker Siya Kolisi will have eradicated those doubts in an instant.

With the chance of revenge coming at South African rugby’s spiritual home of Ellis Park this weekend, Stormers openside Kilosi is, needless to say, determined not to succumb a second time.

“I feel like we tried but we didn’t do enough,” Kilosi, 24, said. “That wasn’t close to our best, as a team we know that. We’re hurting, that’s what’s hurting us the most. Not the fact that we lost, but the fact that we did not do our best when our best was required.”

Kilosi was one of South Africa’s better performers in a miserable start to Allister Coetzee’s reign as head coach that was typified by handling errors and sloppy execution that amounted to numerous botched try-scoring opportunities. The back rower agreed with his boss that the side had tried to play too much rugby inside their own half.

“I think we got a bit carried away, we wanted to play from everywhere and made a lot of mistakes. The basics were not good, we didn’t dominate our carries and our defence was not good enough. We’ll have to work harder this week.”

Nor did Kilosi shy away from the shortcomings of the back-row trio he formed with Bath’s Francois Louw and Duane Vermeulen of Toulon.

“We felt that we didn’t gel together as much and dominate as much as we wanted. That’s something we’re going to work on this weekend...if we get the opportunity.”

Kolisi added his team would also have to work harder at the tackle area with ball in hand. “It’s just basics,” the flanker said. “You’re going to have to carry very low, they tackle very low and we need to fight more in the tackle. They were working much harder than us. They had one less guy and you could see were working much harder. We need to work much harder than that and dominate the carries to put our backline in a better position to attack.

“We saw them fight to the very last minute last weekend and that’s what we’re going to have to do this weekend.”


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