Bok skipper understands under fire All Blacks' desperation: 'We're not taking them lightly'

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  • Siya Kolisi understands the feeling of staring down the barrel of a possible fourth straight Test defeat that's now facing the All Blacks.
  • The Springboks went into last year's final Rugby Championship needing to beat the All Blacks to avoid a fourth loss on the bounce.
  • Assistant coach Mzwandile Stick was also not falling for the hype train declaring the All Blacks low-lying fruit.

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi knows very well the feeling of staring down the barrel of a possible fourth straight Test defeat that's now facing his foes New Zealand ahead of their clash at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The Springboks went into last year's final Rugby Championship at Robina Stadium in Gold Coast needing to beat the All Blacks to avoid a fourth loss on the bounce after losing twice to the Wallabies and once to New Zealand in their 100th meeting.

READ | Boks invoke 1995 Ellis Park spirit for All Blacks: 'I used to call myself the township Stransky'

The Boks willed themselves to a close 31-29 win that avoided the ignominy of a dishonourable fourth international defeat.

Now, the foot is firmly on the other boot as head coach Ian Foster's men look to stave off another defeat that would pile even more pressure on him after losing to Ireland twice and in Mbombela.

"We know the situation that New Zealand are in and that's why we're not taking them lightly," Kolisi said.

"We prepared the way we did and changed nothing because we know that situation.

"We kept reminding and telling each other as a team about how desperate we were to win that day.

"So, we know they are going to bring it, but what's important is to start with high intensity and control the things that are in our control."

Teams:

South Africa

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Jesse Kriel, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche 

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Willie le Roux

New Zealand

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 David Havili, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Aaron Smith 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Shannon Frizell 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Samson Taukei'aho, 1 Ethan de Groot

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 George Bower, 18 Fletcher Newell, 19 Tupou Vaa'i, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Quinn Tupaea

READ | Ellis Park epic: Boks should have All Blacks' number, but 'special' history muddles plot

Assistant coach Mzwandile Stick was also not falling for the hype train declaring the All Blacks low-lying fruit.

"The All Blacks are a world-class side; it takes a good performance to beat them," he said.

"People look at the results at the moment and think they are a bad team, but it took Ireland's best two games they've probably ever played to beat the All Blacks in New Zealand.

"The same goes for us in Mbombela. I thought that was one of the best Bok performances in my experience since Yokohama against England, the way we executed our plan and played for 80 minutes.

"We had to keep fighting. If you switch off, they will punish you because of their world-class players.

"Richie Mo'unga starting for them will make them even more dangerous."

Kick-off is at 17:05.


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