Cape Town - Springbok captain Siya Kolisi praised his side for the way they stood up against England in their 27-26 edging at Twickenham despite off-field disruptions.
The Boks lost their final match of the End of Year Tour after bagging a historic 23-18 victory against Wales - their first in Cardiff since 2013 - and a 30-15 win against Scotland at Murrayfield.
Their clash against England marked the first one of SA director of rugby Rassie Erasmus’ suspension since he was found guilty of all six charges brought by World Rugby.
On Wednesday, World Rugby finally made their verdict on the drawn-out saga involving Erasmus and SA Rugby known. Erasmus was suspended with immediate effect from all rugby activities for two months and suspended from all match-day activities until 30 September 2022. SA Rugby has confirmed that they will appeal the decision by World Rugby on Erasmus’ video, in which he pointed out what he felt Australian referee Nic Berry got wrong in their opening Test in the British & Irish Lions Series.
"It's been a tough year for everyone. There are many people who have lost jobs, lost family members. And we have the great opportunity of playing this game."@SiyaKolisi reflects on his side's defeat to England and their #AutumnNationsSeries campaign. #ENGvRSA pic.twitter.com/GrwgHNu7Vn— Autumn Nations Series (@autumnnations) November 20, 2021
Speaking after their loss to England, Kolisi said that his belief in the team is still strong.
“The result obviously didn’t make us happy because I believe this team can achieve so much more. But mentally, to go through everything we have gone through and still pitch up like this says a lot,” he said.
“Sport is all about results, but we will make sure that we get back next year.”
When asked whether former Springbok forwards coach Matt Proudfoot, who is now with England, and his influence in the hosts’ performance, Kolisi said: “I don’t know (if Matthew Proudfoot played a role). I thought they contested well.”