South Africa captain Siya Kolisi said those who believed the Springboks would struggle to find the passion and endurance to beat the British & Irish Lions two weeks in a row to clinch the series had no idea of the focus and determination of his side.
The Boks defeated the Lions 19-16 in the decider in Cape Town on Saturday, with veteran flyhalf Morne Steyn kicking the winning penalty in the dying minutes, just as he had done to win the series 12 years ago.
There had been the suggestion, not least from Lions coach Warren Gatland, that the Boks had put so much emotion into their 27-9 second-test win that they might struggle to reach the same level again.
But Kolisi said that was never going to be the case as he gave credit to head coach Jacques Nienaber for making sure the players were mentally prepared.
“I laughed when I heard we would not get up emotionally for this test,” Kolisi told reporters. “You can’t motivate people with rugby stories anymore, it is what is driving everyone that matters.
“Jacques always touches on that. We all know what to do on the field but when you speak to the person — what is my drive? What will it do for the people of the country, for my family and my kids?
“When Jacques starts speaking like that, he gets us going. This (series win) was not just for us. That is why we do what we do, that is what gets us up in the morning.”
World champions South Africa now face two home matches against Argentina as they get their Rugby Championship campaign under way on Saturday, before they travel to Australia and New Zealand, where they will play two away games in each country.