BOK VICTORY: 'The job is not done yet' – Siya

rugby06 July 2024 19:08| © SuperSport
By:Brenden Nel
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© Gallo Images

The Springboks win over Ireland was a “relief” but the job is not done yet.

That's the message from the Boks after their nail-biting 27-20 win at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday as they head to Durban for the second and final test between the world’s top two sides.

Captain Siya Kolisi expressed his relief after the win and expressed the importance of the result, but warned that Ireland would come back at them in Durban.

“It was important, this game was important for us, especially as we haven’t been able to beat them. It is not done yet, we want to win the series and we know they are going to come back harder at us.

“Even in the game today, it looked like we would put it away but they came back at us. Next week is going to be a proper test for us in Durban.”

Coach Rassie Erasmus said that there was “some good and some bad” in the Boks’ performance, and the result was satisfying, but it left the team with lots of work before the second test next Saturday.

“For both teams there was some good and some bad. It was certainly a game that you could see they had played a lot together, through the Six Nations, but I thought there were some brilliant moments and also some awful moments where there are things we can work on,” he said.

“I can’t talk for them because I know they are a classy team and they will come out firing in the last game of the series next week. You know, in the last few games between us and them it has been a few points, and to beat them with seven, home or away, is just a relief because they are the team we have struggled against for the last six years.”

Erasmus said that to break their duck in the last six years against Ireland, who they last beat in 2016, was particularly good, but rather praised a tough contest between No 1 and two in the world.

“I think we always do everything as a group and as a group this was a team that we had 0 per cent against. The closest we had was against the All Blacks, where we have a 50 per cent record and even the British and Irish Lions was 67 per cent. They really had our number and when they came back so strongly, if they didn’t have one or two big injuries in the game, it would have been much tighter.

“I wouldn't say it was a monkey off our backs, but it certainly was a very competitive team that is No 2 in the world and on any weekend can take the step up and be No 1.”

Erasmus said a lot of work was necessary after the Boks played a lot more expansively than they did in the World Cup, and left a number of tries on the field through mistakes and dropped passes.

“If you play the No 2 team in the world, and certainly a team of that quality, there will be fewer opportunities. I hope people will see that we’re trying to develop our attacking game with the foundation that Felix (Jones) left there and with Tony (Brown) we’re trying to step it up a bit, but with that comes mistakes and experience and precision, and definitely at stages that didn’t happen.

“But they aren’t No 2 in the world for nothing and when they scored those last two tries, we were down to 14 men. We struggled to get momentum. It was a stop-start game, and there was a delay. For both teams it buggered up momentum.”

Ireland coach Andy Farrell had his own worries with scrumhalf Craig Casey concussed and hooker Dan Sheehan doubtful for the second test with what Farrell described as a “knee injury”.

But he was gracious in defeat congratulating South Africa on their win, although he said he was bemused by some of the television match official decisions.

“It had a little bit of everything. The unexpected was popping up at times, and that was the difference, but South Africa deserved to win the game. Congratulations to them. We were off the first half, and we gave away access for them to play their game. Defensively we were a bit passive, especially for the first try. It was courageous at times how we defended and got ourselves back into the game.

“It is the makeup of this team and the history that shows that even with the performance in the first half we hung on and we don’t go away. There are plenty of teams that would have been under the pump in the first half and had the game run away but we didn’t and stayed in the fight.”

Both sides move to Durban on Sunday to begin preparations for the second test.