PORTELIZABETH (Reuters) – After beating the world champions in their last outing, Siya Kolisi is looking to lead South Africa to another Rugby Championship triumph this Saturday to prove that the side has indeed turned a corner after two years of indifferent form.
The South Africa captain said on Friday that upsetting New Zealand away a fortnight ago in a shock 36-34 victory had seen the Springboks set a new standard that they must keep up when they host Australia at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
“That game against the All Blacks was special. We want to maintain that standard every week, and perhaps be even better,” Kolisi told a news conference as the Boks look to improve on last year’s third place Rugby Championship finish.
“I find that sometimes, we as South Africans wait until our backs are against the wall until we respond.
“Every individual in the team, and all the coaches, are working together to ensure we get there. We should be pitching up like that every single week.”
The Boks’ win in Wellington two weeks ago came after disappointing losses in Argentina and Australia.
“The break has been good for us,” Kolisi said. “It gave the bodies time to recover. We made a lot of tackles against the All Blacks. The thing that stood out for me the most was when we had an opportunity, we took it. That was something we had been struggling with.
“We’re a bit fresher after a couple of weeks, and looking forward to the challenge this weekend. We know as players that we have set a standard and we have to maintain that from here on in.
“The coach would obviously love for us to be in that mindset the whole time, but it’s the pressure we put on each other that will get us there,” Kolisi added.
“The Wallabies are a quality side and they showed how dangerous they are. We are not reading too much into their loss against Argentina – we know we will have to deliver a massive effort against them if we want to be successful.”
Following Saturday’s game, South Africa complete their fixtures in the southern hemisphere championship at home to the All Blacks in Pretoria on Oct. 6.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Christian Radnedge)