Captain Siya Kolisi says he can fully appreciate the disappointment of “upset” supporters after the Springboks slipped to three successive defeats.
The Boks head into this weekend’s rematch against the All Blacks desperate to end the Rugby Championship on a winning note and avoid suffering four straight defeats for the first time since 2016.
After the Rugby Championship, South Africa will head off on a challenging end-of-year tour, with none of the matches against Scotland, Wales or England likely to be easy wins.
Addressing media on Friday, Kolisi said the team had no issue with the criticism coming their way.
“People are passionate about rugby in our country and we can’t get upset at that. People are allowed to have their own opinions, and they are hurting.
“People were happy with us, and now they’re upset and disappointed. It’s good. It’s obviously not good for us losing three games in a row, but people care, and that’s the thing. This team means different things to different people, and I can’t get upset at that.
“I’m also a fan, and I watch my favourite sporting teams, and I get upset when they lose. I get emotional and I react in different ways, so I can’t get upset with people when they do that with us,” he added.
“It’s tough. We get it from friends and family, who are also hurting, so it’s understandable. We’re hurting too. We’re here playing on the field and we’re preparing the whole time to try and win games, so when we lose, it’s tough on us.”
Photo: Steve Haag/PA Images via Getty Images
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