Boks go 'soft' under pressure

Sat, 08 Sep 2012 14:18
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Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer believes that his side's defeat to the Wallabies can be put down to a few crucial lapses in concentration.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer believes that his side's defeat to the Wallabies can be put down to a few crucial lapses in concentration.

The Boks took a 13-6 lead into the half-time break, having scored the only try of the first half through Bryan Habana, but they faded off the pace in the second half and conceded two unanswered tries to go down 26-19 in Perth.

Meyer was confident that the territory-based approach his team employed was the right formula on the day, but blamed some 'soft moments' in the second half for their eventual capitulation to the home side.

"All credit to the Wallabies, I thought we put them under pressure in the first half but they are a quality side and two soft moments probably cost us the game, but they really capitalised on our mistakes and played some great rugby when they had ball on the front foot.

"We thought that to play tactically would be the only way to beat them away from home because they are a quality side and once they get quick ball you are not going to beat them with their same game," he said.

Meyer pointed to two clear instances as the crucial moments which let his side down as they slipped of the pace in the final stages of the match.

"I thought the once we had a scrum almost on their 22 and gave a penalty away. They kicked out from that, scrummed and scored from that line-out. the one was a soft moment where we didn't field the kick-off and they had a five-metre scrum and they scored from there."

The Bok coach said that although his first defeat at the helm was disappointing, his inexperienced team will take some important lessons from the loss ahead of their clash with the world champion All Blacks next week.

"I thought our guys really tried hard, there is a lot of inexperience and we must learn from this but all credit to the Wallabies.

"It is our third away game in a row and I know that we can beat them [All Blacks] if everything goes well but it is going to be a huge challenge, but we need to be positive and focused because it is not getting any easier and then there are two homes games so we are looking forward to that," he said.

Captain Jean de Villiers echoed his coach's assessment, and accepted the defeat as part of a learning curve.

"It was probably one that we should have won, but credit must go to Australia for coming back after being down at half-time. That I suppose is what experience brings to a team, we have to learn from this and when we are in that position again we have to capitalise.

"In the second half we came out to do the same, and we probably made a few errors that cost us big time, but those are the margins of Test match rugby between winning and losing," he said.

De Villiers said that although it was an improvement from their performance against Argentina in Mendoza, the result left a bitter taste.

"It was a much better effort than we managed against Argentina but unfortunately it was not good enough once again," he said.