South Africa ‘scramble’ to famous win in ParisSun, 15 Oct 2023 23:12:24 GMT

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi paid tribute to his team for chasing “lost causes” after they came from behind to beat France 29-28 on Saturday to book a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup. South Africa trailed 22-19 at half-time and had Eben Etzebeth off the field for the opening eight minutes of the second half for a yellow card but they prevented France from capitalising and eventually came back to win the match by the narrowest of margins.”We scrambled a lot, especially when we were short of numbers,” said Kolisi. “We talk about chasing lost causes. Don’t stop until they put the ball down over the tryline. Don’t do that and we’d be going home tomorrow.”That’s what we do as a team. Never give up.”The Springboks edged in front thanks to replacement fly-half Handre Pollard’s second-half points, setting up a last-four meeting with England back in Paris at the Stade de France on Saturday.”It was an amazing game,” said Kolisi, who was substituted early in the second half. “It flowed, it was tough, physical, the way both teams played outshone everything. “The French have been building for four years and knew it was going to take something special.” The South Africa captain, who is looking to repeat the triumph of 2019, said the Boks had prepared for the noise and atmosphere of taking on the hosts in their own backyard in Paris by using speakers in training. But he paid tribute to the hosts, especially captain Antoine Dupoint who returned to the lineup after suffering a fractured cheekbone in the pool games to play the full 80 minutes. “France can be proud. For their leader to be injured and come back and play like as if he had never been away was incredible.”Bok coach Jacques Nienaber also praised the French. “If you play the French in France and if you look at their performances and consistency over last four years, their team building and results, we knew it would be a proper Test match,” he said. “Like all the games this weekend, it was won in the last eight minutes of the game, so it was a proper Test.”