Skipper Kolisi on ‘never say die’ Bok attitude: ‘It’s just a South African thing’


It was a ding-dong battle of epic proportions, and the Springboks showed immense character to find a way over the line and secure a 23-18 win against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday. 

The game, right up until Elton Jantjies’ penalty after the full-time hooter, was never safe for the world champions, and it took a 73rd-minute rolling maul try to finally give them the lead after going into half-time 12-9 down. 

Wales, historically, have been a bogey side for the Boks away from home, and this was South Africa’s first win in Cardiff in eight years and five attempts. 

The Welsh were understandably gutted after the match – they had come so close to knocking over the world champions – but in the end, the Boks found a way when it mattered most. 

It is a trait one expects from championship teams, and speaking after the match, skipper Siya Kolisi helped unpack the fighting spirit within this group. 

“It’s just a South African thing,” Kolisi said. 

“We come from a country where people just don’t accept defeat. They will always persist no matter how tough things are, and I think that’s instilled into us.

“Our coaching staff picks guys who have been through quite a lot and guys who can get through tough times. That’s what we pride ourselves on.

“When the coach speaks to us in the changerooms, he doesn’t speak to us a rugby player, but as a person, because he knows that we can go to those dark places and live there for a very long time.

“We are very privileged to be able to do what we love and to put smiles on peoples’ faces back at home.

“People get so excited when we play, and we know that we’ve got 80 minutes and that whatever we do, we can change someone’s mood.”

The Boks are next in action when they take on Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday. 

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Publish date : 2021-11-06 21:14:59

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