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Kolisi reheats row: 'I feel having manners is sometimes a problem'

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Siya Kolisi has doubled down on his disappointment at feeling disrespected by last weekend’s first Test match officials against the Lions, the Springboks captain revisiting the issue in a pre-game second Test interview broadcast on Sky Sports. The officials from last weekend, led by referee Nic Berry, found themselves in the eye of a storm following the 26-clip, 62-minute video posted by Rassie Erasmus, the Springboks director of rugby.


It included footage of Kolisi being shooed away by the officials after Berry had stopped play to review the 72nd minute try that Damian de Allende that was eventually ruled out for a knock-on earlier in the move by Cheslin Kolbe. Erasmus claimed Kolisi was left feeling disrespected with how he was treated, a point of view he agreed with when appearing at his captain’s run media briefing. He later revisited the hot topic in an emotional TV interview that was shown on UK TV just an hour prior to kick-off in Saturday’s second Test in Cape Town.  

The stuff with the ref is really difficult. It makes you doubt yourself as a human being… I ask myself, is it the way I speak? I am only asking things because I am representing my country, I represent so many people, I represent the team. I must answer to them why things are going this way and then I have to look back and try to find peace somewhere and seek a way forward. 

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Lions skipper Alun Wyn Jones talks second Test tactics
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Lions skipper Alun Wyn Jones talks second Test tactics

“All I want sometimes is just let me speak as equally as you give to the other captain. It’s a normal thing for me. It’s just every day is just another day in the office. That is how I feel every single time. Sometimes I feel me having manners is a problem and I feel maybe I should just go crazy and shout out, but that is not who I am.

“In the same movement, I am being chased away while the other captain gets to stay. Go, go, go and then Alun Wyn (Jones) comes and there is a conversation. That stuff is mind-blowing. I will continue being the person that I am. That is who I am and I am hoping that this weekend will be different.”

Ex-Springboks winger Bryan Habana added ahead of the second Test that will be refereed by Kiwi Ben O’Keeffe: “It’s almost a case of nice guys coming last and he literally is an incredibly nice guy. The humility, the manner in which he brings things to the fore and even in that humility, even in that manner in which he quietly brings his way across, he has got an incredible amount of energy, of passion, of things that no one else has in South Africa. 


“Hopefully that is a turning point for the Springboks because what we saw last week was a Siya Kolisi that was frustrated but a Siya that doesn’t want to be confrontational.”   


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