Kolisi led his side which outscored Australia four tries to one which saw them turn a 12-3 halftime lead into a morale-boosting 24-8 victory, their second in the 2022 Castle Lager Rugby Championship.
The Boks were tremendous in terms of their urgency and intent, and this proved too much for the hosts to cope with, leaving them to settle for a penalty goal and try for their efforts, while Damian de Allende, Canan Moodie, Franco Mostert and Makazole Mapimpi crossed the Wallabies’ try-line for the visitors.
“I would like to thank the people back home for backing us,” said Kolisi.
“It has been a tough week for us a team, and we understand that our fans were hurting too, so I’d like to thank them for sticking with us.
“We are grateful to the supporters back home and in Australia. We really wanted to stay in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship race, and it has been a long nine years since we last won here.
“The coaching staff had a plan and a certain game plan they wanted us to play because they wanted us to win. But the biggest change was the belief that we could do it.”
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber praised the team for using their opportunities this week, which proved to be the big difference compared to their performance last week in Adelaide.
“Last week we created opportunities and didn’t take them and that was better tonight,” said Nienaber. “We also weren’t happy with the intensity last week and are pleased that we also made a big step-up in that regard tonight.”
Nienaber was understandably happy with the Boks’ first win over the Wallabies in Australia since the 38-12 victory in 2013.
“We have played here five times as a group and this is the first time we have won, and we are very pleased that we could change our fortunes here,” said the Bok coach.
“It was also good to see the players who received a chance to play use their opportunities. We placed a lot of pressure on ourselves internally to get things right this week.”
Nienaber also expressed his delight with the performance of the 19-year-old Moodie, who became the second youngest Springbok to make his Test debut in the professional era, and also scored a scintillating try in his first outing in the green and gold.
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“I am happy and proud for Canan – he’s been good for his franchise (the Vodacom Bulls), and we’ve been following his performances for a while,” said Nienaber.
“He is the fourth or fifth wing we’ve played this year, and it is tough on teams, but at the same time it gives us answers with an eye on the Rugby World Cup.”
Both Nienaber and Kolisi expected a big challenge against Argentina, who they will face in Buenos Aires in two weeks’ time before the rematch in Durban a week later, and Nienaber said: “We’ll assess the injuries and then make a plan for Argentina.”
Kolisi added: “They are going to be tough, so we know we have two challenging games ahead. We’ll enjoy tonight and then and then turn our focus to those clashes in the week.”