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Springboks have answered some of their own questions, says Kolisi

Springboks have answered some of their own questions, says Kolisi

Springboks have answered some of their own questions, says Kolisi

Siya Kolisi believes South Africa have learnt a great deal from their Autumn Nations Series campaign after they signed off with an emphatic 27-13 win over England.

The Springboks saved their best performance on tour for last, sealing a first victory over England at Twickenham in eight years.

They were without a host of key men due to this Test falling outside the international window and were forced to turn to Faf de Klerk as their goal-kicker, who had made just four kick attempts for his country prior to this clash.

The Boks captain lauded the character of his side and feels they are in much a better place than where they were when they set off north a few weeks ago.

“It is a big relief for us,” said Kolisi. “We have been working really hard over the past few months. I know some results haven’t gone our way.

“But we are still grateful to get the kind of support we are getting from back home.

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“We’ve tried a few things, we feel there’s still a lot more we can do but we’re going for it as a group.

“We wouldn’t be going to the World Cup if we didn’t think we would be able to defend it. It will be tough and we’ll face a lot of challenges but I really think we’ve learned a lot about our team and we’ve got a lot of answers for a lot of questions we could have had going forward.

“So going into next year, I’m hoping there’s not a lot that can shock us as a team because of all the challenges we’ve faced during this time.”

One of the stars to have emerged from the Autumn Nations Series has been Kurt-Lee Arendse, who scored for the sixth consecutive game, becoming only the third South African to do so in Test rugby.

He finished off a superb score after excellent work from Damian Willemse and Willie le Roux for South Africa’s opening score and Kolisi joked that it was a dream try for the forwards to stand and admire.

“Our game plan is always opportunity over anything and I think today was a perfect example of what we are trying to achieve,” he said.

“With the skills the backs have they are capable of doing things like that and they’re allowed to.

“It’s up to them to show what they can do and it was beautiful to see. As a pack of forwards we could just stand on the halfway line. We’re proud of what they did today and that’s two weeks in a row Kurt-Lee has done that.

“We’re grateful for him. That’s the whole thing about our team, we’re all different but the one thing we have is effort, physicality, and work rate all day long for one another, and then after that you bring who you are.

“That’s the whole reason he was selected in the team. Him and Cheslin (Kolbe) and Damian Willemse can be who they are, play on instinct and the rest of us keep working hard and create opportunities for them.”

South Africa’s second biggest-ever win over England away from home may not have been the prettiest but for Kolisi that is a marker of his side’s progress.

And ahead of a year which will culminate with the defence of their World Cup crown, Kolisi believes his side are heading in the right direction.

“England were tough at the beginning but we just stuck to our guns and tweaked a few things,” he said.

“We said, ‘we will risk it all as it is worth it’ – we need to find answers before the World Cup but at the same time respecting England and playing in the right areas of the field but taking the opportunities on the day.

“It is not that much of a difference to what we’ve been doing previously, but we are just seeing opportunities which we didn’t in the past.”

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