It was a balmy Brisbane which greeted the Springboks on Sunday evening (Australian time) after a trip of more than 20 hours that started in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon, included a stopover in Sydney and ended at their hotel in the Queensland capital.
The Springboks face Australia in the third round of The Castle Lager Rugby Championship at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday. Although the South Africans have not beaten the hosts at this venue in a Test, they will approach the game with a quiet confidence after two good wins over Argentina last month.
Springbok loose forward Siya Kolisi, who is on his first Castle Lager Rugby Championship tour, is very excited about the challenge of facing the Wallabies on Saturday, but he admitted the travel to Brisbane was a bit arduous.
“Yes, I do feel quite tired, but we have a rest day tomorrow and I’m very excited to finally be here,” said Kolisi, who missed out on participation in the Rugby Champs last year because of a broken hand.
Kolisi said the Boks have put their 22-17 win over Argentina in Mendoza behind them and are now firmly focused on facing the Aussies this weekend.
“Our first aim will be to fix the mistakes we made against Argentina. The key areas would be patience, keeping the ball and sticking to our structures. It worked very well when we stuck to our guns in the first game (against Argentina at Soccer City),” he said.
Although the victory in Mendoza was not nearly as good as the 73-13 hammering dished out to the Pumas the week before, Kolisi said it was a positive for the team to get their first away-win in this competition since 2009.
“You take confidence out of winning away from home – it doesn’t matter if it’s ugly. It’s always very hard to win away from home so we took that positive from the Mendoza game.”
The Springboks will use Monday to flush out any of the after-effects of the long travel before hitting the training field on Tuesday. The team for Saturday’s Test will be named on Wednesday.