Springboks captain Siya Kolisi promises to get in the face of Welsh ref Nigel Owens
The Springboks have been on the receiving end of some poor officiating recently and captain Siya Kolisi will keep referee Nigel Owens of Wales in check during the Rugby Championship clash against New Zealand at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.
The Boks were not good against Argentina in Mendoza but referee Angus Gardner of Australia did not cover himself in glory with numerous poor decisions.
The South Africans were on the wrong end of more questionable decisions against the Wallabies from Glen Jackson of New Zealand.
Kolisi‚ who is still in the infancy of his captaincy‚ admitted he is still learning with regards to engaging referees. He promised to be in the face of Owens against the experienced All Blacks‚ who have a reputation of intimidating officials.
“After our loss to Argentina‚ I heard a lot of people saying that I don’t impose myself a lot with referees and this is one of the areas where I am constantly learning‚” Kolisi said at his pre-match press conference on Friday in Wellington.
“Actually‚ last week against Australia I was told that I irritated the referee a lot by saying too much‚” he added with a laugh.
“This is one of the things that I will learn as I go along. I am naturally a laid back guy and not too confrontational but I agree that I must be more imposing‚” he said.
Kolisi said that some of the questionable decisions in future will decide matches.
“Some of the decisions will have a bearing on whether we win or lose a Test match and if I am 100% sure then I must stamp my authority.
“Having said that‚ if I go to the referee and he does not want to do anything about what I am telling him‚ I can’t force him.
“The good thing is that there are other senior guys in the team who are supporting me with extra eyes so that we don’t get short-changed.”
Kolisi‚ who statistics show has beaten 18 defenders‚ which is more than twice as many of any forward in the competition‚ said the Boks did not change anything in their preparations.
“We have gone about our preparations the same‚ the coaches have kept things as usual but we know what is ahead of us because we are playing against the best team in the world.
“We know what we did wrong against Australia‚ we have owned up to our mistakes and we want to improve and get better as a team.”
All Black captain Kieran Read said his team would need to be careful because the Springboks are wounded.
“They are a team that is hurting and I am expecting them to come at us physically up-front‚” Read said.
“Fortunately we have experience in our side‚ which helps in having an idea of what is coming from the Boks and they will be fired up.
“We don’t expect things to go our way all the time. Every time they run out they are proud to wear the jersey and they are going to be difficult.”