Kriel: Boks 'got the answers' following year-end slump
WATCH as star centre Jesse Kriel opens up about the Springboks’ to-do list ahead of the World Cup.
The Springboks delivered a very mixed bag of results during the 2022 international season.
They looked in good form as they recorded a series win over Wales and a dominant victory over New Zealand.
There were some concerns – especially after being beaten 25-17 by the Wallabies.
The side also travelled to Europe to face Ireland and France with loads of injuries, with the most prominent one being the injury to star flyhalf Handre Pollard.
Ireland and France are currently ranked number one and two on the World Rankings.
Ireland was impressive all season, but the highlight was undoubtedly a first-ever series win over the All Blacks in New Zealand – let alone their first two wins ever in Aotearoa.
As for Les Bleus, France went unbeaten throughout the calendar year. They were tried and tested, but next year’s World Cup hosts proved unconquerable during the year that was.
*Article continues below…
South Africa lost their first Test of the November Test series against Ireland in Dublin 16 -19, before suffering another defeat against Les Bleus 26-30.
They were able to bounce back from their first back-to-back defeats since August with a dominant display against Italy, but the Springboks saved their best performance for last.
The Springboks’ 27-13 demolition of England was indeed an emphatic display, and it ultimately sealed Eddie Jones’ fate with England and the RFU.
Speaking on the Rugbypass’ Offload Podcast, World Cup-winning centre Jesse Kriel said that while both losses in November were tough to take, the Springboks “got our answers” from those Tests.
“Any loss in a Springbok jersey is tough so I wouldn’t put one more or put one higher than the other one, I think with both of them we were obviously gutted,” Kriel said.
“There were two pretty decent performances, and we did our homework on both teams, but I think we all know the big games are obviously next year at the World Cup.
“We’ve kind of got our answers from the games that we needed to get and everyone’s kind of sure (on) what we need to do.
“I think that’s kind of the most important thing that we got out of the year-end Series.”
South Africa are scheduled to take on Ireland again in the World Cup 2023, having been drawn with the No.1 side and Six Nations side Scotland in Pool B.
Should the Boks make it to the knockout rounds, it’s very possible that they’d face either the All Blacks or hosts France in the quarterfinals.
“We know that we might have to take on both of them [Ireland and France],” he added.
“Both are really good teams, and we’ll probably play both of them if I’m selected in the squad, I don’t even know if I’m going to be there yet. Let’s first get selected.”
*Additional reporting Rugbypass