Boks coach laments loss during ‘worst performance in years’

Springbok Coach Jacques Nienaber described the match as the worst performance in recent years.

South Africa's captain Siya Kolisi (R) and head coach Jacques Nienaber attend a press conference after the Rugby Championship match against Australia on 12 September 2021. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - It was a second successive loss for the Springboks to Australia in the Rugby Championship as they went down 30-17.

Coach Jacques Nienaber described the match as the worst performance in recent years, explaining “It’s definitely not the worst performance of the year. I think it's probably the worst performance since 2018 when we lost against Argentina in Mendoza – that’s how poor this performance was.”

“Even in our exit game that wasn’t up to standard, or was inconsistent sometimes, we had a good outcome and then other times we had poor outcomes.”

The statistics back Nienaber with the men in green and gold missing 19 tackles.

“If I showed you the tackle stats since I’ve been involved with this squad since 2018, this was unheard of performance – it just never happens like that. If every player misses just one tackle, it’s 23 missed tackles in a game and that’s probably what happened tonight.”

He added, “From a defensive view point we need to change to do things better. I think the last time we conceded four [or more] tries were against New Zealand in 2018. This is not something that we are used to.”

Captain Siya Kolisi dismissed the idea that the side wasn’t prepared.

“The preparation was good, it was just delivering on the day. We as players weren’t good at it at all. We knew it, we came at half-time and said this is what happening [the Australian game plan]. We went back on the field, and it happened again. Us, as players, have to take responsibility because [our defence] wasn’t up to standard.”

The Boks next take to the field on Saturday, 25 September in their 100th test match against the All Blacks.

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