Siya Kolisi (Getty Images)
- Springbok captain Siya Kolisi steered clear of criticising referee Paul Williams despite their landmark win against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.
- The Boks won 23-18, snaring their first win in the Welsh capital since 2013.
- Kolisi also heaped praise on the returning Ellis Jenkins, who played his first Test in more than two years.
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi steered clear of criticising referee Paul Williams for his performance after the Boks broke their Cardiff curse on Saturday.
The Boks won 23-18 in a game where they had more than their fair share of opportunities, but the match official was widely panned for allowing the game to flow to a point where the weak Welsh scrum wasn’t exposed in the first half.
There only was one scrum in the first half, while Williams was also accused of allowing the hosts to engage in sacking the maul earlier than expected.
Kolisi chose to look at what they needed to control instead.
“We just focus on what we need to do and we understand that match officials have a tough job,” Kolisi said.
“I don’t think there’s scope to look at what the ref did or didn’t do from this game, but we need to look at the things we could control.
“I can’t be talking about what the ref did right or wrong in this game.”
The Welsh have been a constant thorn in the Springboks’ side over the past seven years and this was indicated by how poorly they have faired in Cardiff.
Saturday’s win was South Africa’s first in Cardiff since 2013, with Kolisi saying that coach Jacques Nienaber’s ability to get the best out of them mentally played a huge role in snapping their hoodoo.
“We know what kind of team Wales is and we spoke about how difficult they are in the documentary,” Kolisi said
“We also come from a country where we don’t accept defeat very easily, but our coaching staff has also had the excellent tendency of picking guys who have been through a lot.
“The coach speaks to us as human beings because he knows we can go to these dark places and we are able to live there for a long time.”
Kolisi also reserved special praise for Welsh loose-forward Ellis Jenkins, who played his first Test in more than two years after his serious knee injury against the same opposition in 2018.
“I remember when he got injured, I sent him my jersey because those things are tough,” Kolisi said.
“We play rugby because we want to make our families and our countries proud and at no point do you want to wish something bad on a player.
“For him to fight back from the injury he had to play for the national team shows the kind of character he is.
“He played well today and I am proud of him and I’m looking forward to seeing what he’ll do in the future.”