Durban (South Africa) (AFP) - The South African media applauded the resurgent national rugby team Sunday after they clinched a series victory over France in Durban, with special praise reserved for flanker Siya Kolisi.
A 37-15 second Test victory at Kings Park stadium Saturday gave the Springboks a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series, which concludes in Johannesburg next weekend.
The triumph, coupled with a 37-14 first Test success in Pretoria, have renewed faith in the team after a record eight losses during a calamitous 2016 season.
Simnikiwe Xabanisa wrote in the City Press that official man of the match and try-scorer Kolisi delivered a "monstrous performance" in front of a 42,000 crowd in Durban.
"The game had the fingerprints of Kolisi all over it in a monstrous performance not seen in a while from a player in the green and gold jersey.
"Kolisi made two try-scoring passes, tackled everything that moved and was all over the ball on the ground like a cheap suit.
"And (Kolisi) still found time to score an intercept try of his own in a performance for the ages.
"A performance big on physicality, defence and composure meant South Africa not only won the game, but the series with a match to spare."
Mike Greenaway in The Sunday Independent drew a comparison between the victory over France and the previous Test in Durban -- a humiliating 57-15 loss to arch foes New Zealand.
"Who would have thought that eight months after the Boks were booed off the field, the same crowd would be doing the Mexican wave and singing 'ole, ole, ole'.
"The celebration was mostly because the vibrant Boks of 2017 have given their supporters reason to believe again. Last year was a terrible car crash in slow motion.
"More than anything, South Africans want to see a Springbok team play with pride and enthusiasm, and we have seen that in abundance over the last fortnight.
"The Springbok team looks hungry, focused and energetic when last year they were lazy, dazed and confused."
Mahlatse Mphahlele wrote in the Sunday Times that skipper and No. 8 Warren Whiteley and coach Allister Coetzee may be on to something special.
"At the rate these youthful and inexperienced Springboks are going, South Africans can start dreaming again.
"Allister Coetzee said the painful chapter of last season was closed and pleaded with the South African public to take a leap of faith in this new beginning.
"In their thorough demolition of a significantly bolstered France from the first Test, the Boks showed unity, fighting spirit and determination.
"Siya Kolisi was the standout performer, but every Bok put his body behind the wheel and pushed hard with a roaring performance of few mistakes."