The Springboks know how much Saturday’s match against the All Blacks mean for South African supporters, and that’s why they will give it their all at Loftus Versfeld, according to Springbok captain Siya Kolisi.
Kolisi spoke to the media at the team hotel in Pretoria on the eve of the big Castle Lager Rugby Championship clash, which is the last fixture of the competition for both countries.
The match at Loftus, which will take place before a capacity crowd of close to 50,000 people, is also the last home game of the year for Kolisi and his Springbok team mates.
“This is a huge game in every sense,” said Kolisi.
“We feel it from the supporters and there’s a huge hype around it. For us, this is a massive game because we’re playing against the best team in the world and they would want to come here and rectify matters (from the previous result in Wellington).”
The Springbok skipper said his side has enjoyed the build-up to the Test in the South African capital and that they realise they would have to match the intensity of their Kiwi-rivals.
“We made sure that we don’t do things differently,” explained Kolisi.
“We have prepared in the same way as we did for the match against the Wallabies last week and for the match against the All Blacks three weeks ago in Wellington.
“We know it’s going to be physical and all of us know we have to match that physical intensity. They’ve spoken about the hurt of losing against us, so we know what’s coming. The All Blacks have a brilliant all-round game and they can score from any scenario so we have to be alert right to the end.”
Kolisi also had a special message for Willie le Roux, who will make his 50th Springbok Test appearance at Loftus: “Willie is very passionate about playing for the Springboks. He absolutely loves the Springboks and for me it’s really inspirational the manner in which he really loves it when we get together as a team.”
Saturday’s match kicks off at 17h05 and will be televised live on SuperSport 1.