Siya Kolisi gets round of applause for stepping in at press conference


Reigning world champions South Africa got off to a winning start in their opening game of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, overcoming Scotland 18-3 in Pool B.

Every game counts in what many are calling the ‘Pool of Death’ with the Boks still yet to face both Ireland and Tonga in what is an incredibly competitive group with some huge fixtures.

Scotland up first was always going to be a tricky game for South Africa, but they got the job done despite Manie Libbock once again having a difficult time from the tee.

The Springbok ten has struggled with his kicking in recent weeks and was no different yesterday. Handre Pollard is not in their World Cup squad due to injury and many feel Libbock’s kicking could come back to bite them as the competition goes on.

But captain Siya Kolisi is having absolutely none of it and even stepped in while alongside head coach Jacques Nienaber to defend his teammate in an incredible act of leadership that earned him a round of applause from the room.

“Sorry, I just want to [step in], on Manie’s question about the kicking,” Kolisi said.

“This question gets asked quite a lot when he misses kicks.

“We play as a team and sometimes you’re not good at one thing on the day, but the way he attacked today, the way he took control of the team, how he is a general amongst us – people forget that and only remember the stuff that he does [wrong].

“Faf [de Klerk] can kick, Cheslin [Kolbe] can kick, there’s a lot of guys that we can call upon. If someone is lacking somewhere, somebody else takes over.

“It’s the same as me. Sometimes I don’t know what to call in the game. Duane [Vermeulen] will call, Eben [Etzebeth] will call, or Manie [Libbock] makes the call.

“He’s not gonna be good at everything every single day. Sometimes with a fly-half you have to hide him because he can’t tackle – he tackles with us.

“You can’t have everything on the day, sometimes we lack somewhere, that’s why we work together. We don’t stress about it.

“If he misses it next time, we go again. It’s the same as a throw. If you throw an astute throw you don’t do it intentionally. We’re working as a group, we work together, and he has confidence in us. And when Faf has to kick, nobody stresses, we move on because he’s gonna be maybe as good on the day.”

An incredible captain, leader, and driving force behind this Springbok side. One of the best to ever do it.

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