‘We want to beat Pumas for retiring Boks’: Kriel

Date published: October 28 2015

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South Africa centre Jesse Kriel has revealed that the team is motivated to beat Argentina in their Rugby World Cup bronze medal match to honour several retiring Springboks.

The Boks, who suffered a 20-18 loss to the All Blacks in their semi-final at Twickenham last weekend, and los Pumas face each other in the play-off for third and fourth place at London's Olympic Stadium on Friday.

The match is set to mark the end of the 2007 World Cup-winning trio of Fourie du Preez, Schalk Burger and Victor Matfield's Test careers.

Los Pumas claimed a historical first-ever victory over the Springboks in Durban earlier this year. But when asked if the Boks will be out for revenge, due to that result, Kriel replied: "I don't really think we'll be looking to that for motivation. 

"I think this loss last weekend will give us enough motivation.

"I think another big motivating factor will be that for some of the older players, it will probably be their last game for the Boks so we will want to play for their respect and how much they mean to South Africa and send them off on a big note."

Kriel expects a tough battle against Argentina, who lost 29-15 to Australia in their semi-final. 

"They throw the ball around a bit, they are a passionate side, they chop legs, so the breakdown will be a big challenge on Friday," he added.

"But we will definitely be up for it."

One of the lasting images of this World Cup was of All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams consoling a dejected Kriel shortly after the final whistle blew in their semi-final on Saturday.

Kriel praised Williams for his sportsmanship.

"I can't remember what he actually said," said Kriel before adding: "He said 'don't worry it's going to be okay and he just helped me up and that was nice of him. 

"It also shows the kind of player and person he is. I think that picture also shows what rugby is all about, so it was great of him to do that."

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