8.3 C
London
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

While Springbok fans watched Handre Pollard’s late penalty with one eye closed, captain Siya Kolisi was relaxed

- Advertisement -

Springboks supporters across the globe watched Handre Pollard’s match-winning penalty at the Rugby World Cup with one eye closed but skipper Siya Kolisi reckons he was relaxed as he watched from the stands.

“I had no doubt at all. Polly has done this kind of thing for us before. I knew it was going over,” Kolisi smiled before adding that Pollard’s opportunity to win the game was thanks to the bomb squad detonating with nuclear effect.

In particular, Ox Nche, Deon Fourie, Kwagga Smith and RG Snyman were spectacular. “We are grateful for the bench but actually for the whole squad,” he said. “We remind each other that if we are successful, we will say that South Africa won, not the 23 that played and not who started and who played off the bench.

“The guys who don’t start, they know when they come on there will be opportunities and we all have different roles and we respect that.”

Late in the game, a key moment was when fullback Damian Willemse caught and marked an aerial bomb near his 22m line but instead of him kicking it out, the Boks opted for a set scrum with a view to winning a penalty that could be kicked deep into England territory.

!function(e,t,r){let n;if(e.getElementById(r))return;const o=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];n=e.createElement(“script”),n.id=r,n.defer=!0,n.type=”module”,n.src=”https://playback.oovvuu.media/player/v2/index.js”,o.parentNode.insertBefore(n,o)}(document,0,”oovvuu-player-sdk-v2″);

“For us to back ourselves in that scrum and then for Ox (Nche), Vincent (Koch) and Bongi (Mbonambi) to deliver, was amazing.

“When Polly took that kick, it was just relief. Also, it gives us a lot of courage going forward to the final.”

But Pollard’s 55m penalty was not his only kicking feat. His long and accurate kick for touch to put the Boks into a position to launch an attacking line-out — which culminated in a try for Snyman — was special. It marked the 10-point turnaround that saw the Boks go from 15-6 to 16-15 winners.

This was acknowledged by coach Jacques Nienaber.

“Like the 2019 World Cup quarter-final and semi-final, you need a 60-metre maul, something special to break the game open and I think the touch kick that set us up for the try was it,” Nienaber said.

“In the rainy and wind, to score that try against an England team that was defending unbelievably was special. It was the only try of the game and put us in the position to go for a penalty to win the game.

“And then there was big pressure on nailing that last kick for the win.”

@LeightonK

Latest news
Related news