Friday, 05 August 2022 18:05

It's Ridiculous,We've won the World Cup, but not beaten All Blacks at home'|Kolisi.

By Gavin Rich.

A lot of focus has been on the All Blacks in the build-up to the opening Castle Lager Rugby Championship clash at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday but it hasn’t deflected the Springboks from what is driving them ahead of their showdown with the old foe.

How we see it is that we haven’t won at home against the All Blacks in eight years and there aren't many players in this camp who have experienced a win over them on South African soil,"said skipper Siya Kolisi on the eve of the first of two back-to-back clashes with the New Zealanders.

"It's ridiculous, we have won a World Cup together, but we have never beaten the All Blacks on any of our home fields. We have to change that. We are not concerned about what is happening in the All Black camp. We have no control over that. What we have control over is that we must start with intensity and stick to our plans for the full 80 minutes."

On the subject of being focused for the entire game, Kolisi said the squad had a strong recollection of what happened at Loftus in 2018 and had spoken about it a lot.

In that game, which was the last game of that year’s Rugby Championship and also the last time the Boks played the All Blacks at home, the All Blacks recovered from a big deficit to win the game at the death.

"We have been talking about 2018 a lot. We were ahead, and then they came back. The All Blacks have world class players and game breakers throughout their team and also on the bench. We want to ensure that no matter what the scoreline is, we stick to doing what we want to do and we remain focused and don’t lose concentration. We must take our chances when they come.

"We are also very aware of the little things that can spark up the New Zealand game. Things like taking quick tap penalties in their own half. When they score off something like that it energises them. So we want to make sure we are alert at all times."

A GAME BOK PLAYERS LIVE FOR'

Kolisi added that there was never any such thing as a Bok player not being supremely motivated to play and beat the All Blacks.

And as such, the fact that some people are making the South Africans favourites has had no impact on the Bok buildup and outlook ahead of the game.

"When you were a kid watching at (boarding) school, when you hadn’t gone home for the weekend, the tv room would be filled up to watch a game between the Springboks and All Blacks, "said Kolisi.

"It was those games that got me started on dreaming about being a Springbok. We have 42 players in our squad and I can tell you every player would love to be on the field tomorrow. These are the sort of games that Bok players live for. We are aware of the history of the All Black/Bok rivalry and we know this is one of the big games of the year and one the rest of the rugby world will be focusing on."

The Bok captain added that the break since the end of the Wales series, which the Boks won 2-1, had been good for the team in the sense it has given them a chance to work on the aspects of their game that were not good in those matches.

Reading between the lines, if the Boks don't win at the Mbombela Stadium it won’t be for lack of preparation and being in a good head space.

"The guys are feeling good. We’ve been together for the past two weeks. We gathered early (in nearby Hazyview) and we are feeling really good. We had a lot to work on after Wales. We are just chipping away at the goals we have set ourselves. And we’re really looking forward to testing ourselves against the All Blacks, who we consider our biggest challenge.