Skip to main content




Rugby-Don't tell us how to play, say spiky Boks before crunch Lions test

Rugby-Don't tell us how to play, say spiky Boks before crunch Lions test

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Second Test - South Africa v British and Irish Lions - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa - July 31, 2021 Former South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus speaks with South Africa's Steven Kitshoff, Handre Pollard and Siya Kolisi REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo

CAPE TOWN : South Africa captain Siya Kolisi said the world champions won't let criticism of the team's style of play alter their game plan going into Saturday's series decider against the British & Irish Lions.

Commentators including New Zealand coach Ian Foster have accused the Springboks of playing boring rugby with their forward-based kicking game, while the Lions suggested the home side had deliberately tried to slow play in the second test - which the Boks won 27-9 - to help them conserve energy.

Kolisi said the criticism would not distract his team from their task, while assistant coach Mzwandile Stick said the Boks would take no lessons from the Lions on how to play.

"We are going to play the same way, that is who we are. We are South Africans and it works for us," Kolisi told reporters ahead of the Cape Town Stadium clash.

"We wouldn’t go look at another team that is winning and complain about how they are playing. You can’t do that, they are winning."

With the series poised at 1-1, the Lions have pledged to try to speed up the game on Saturday, both with ball in hand and between stoppages by avoiding confrontations.

Stick said the Lions were welcome to play a more expansive game if they wanted to.

"We don't go into a game to slow things down. If the Lions want to play touch rugby, that will be very nice for us and they are more than welcome to do so," he said.

"We are not going to decide what they must do and they are not going to tell us how to play the game."

Kolisi, who suggested previously that the series was bigger for the Boks than winning the World Cup two years ago, said his team would "play what is in front of us".

"If there are niggles, we are going to get involved, we never leave a man behind, that is our system and what we believe in," he said.

"It’s a final for us... Tomorrow is everything. For most of us this is it, we will never get another opportunity to play the Lions."

(Reporting by Nick Said; editing by John Stonestreet)

Source: Reuters


Also worth reading