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Horwill sees Wallaby 'progress'

Sat, 28 Sep 2013 21:16
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There's a maturing aspect
Quote-end

Wallaby captain James Horwill said he sees "progress" in the Australian team despite suffering a 28-8 hammering at the hands of South Africa.

The last time the teams met the South Africans delivered a crushing 38-12 victory in Brisbane and proved that was no fluke with a first half blitz that blew the Wallabies off the park on Saturday.

Australia hadn't won at the famed Cape Town stadium since 1992 and that record was in no danger as the home side hit a 20-3 lead after only 19 minutes.

Australia were first on the scoreboard with centre Christian Leali'ifano kicking a simple penalty on seven minutes after Vermeulen was caught offside.

But the advantage was short-lived as Steyn slotted his first penalty of the match after Horwill was caught on the wrong side of a maul and South Africa took control from there

Despite taking their fourth loss of the Championship, skipper Horwill was adamant things are looking up.

"There was no lack of effort, but we did not do things the way we wanted to in the early stages," Horwill said.

"However, we are moving in the right direction, working incredibly hard, and our supporters must just have faith in us."

The Springboks didn't just dominate on the scoreboard, their forwards out-muscled their opponents at the breakdown and veteran halfback and man of the match Fourie du Preez pulled the strings for his willing backs.

The shell-shocked visitors didn't get over the advantage line in the entire first half and missed 18 tackles in a telling statistic.

The Wallaby skipper, Horwill, said the Springboks made them pay for their slow start.

"The effort was there but it was disappointing because we gifted them some points," Horwill said.

"When we had an opportunity we made some silly errors and turned over the ball and didn't apply pressure for long enough.

"The Springboks are a very good side and they made us pay."

Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie also lamented another below par performance, which left him with four defeats and a one-point win (over Argentina a fortnight ago) since he took over from Robbie Deans.

"There's a maturing aspect that we need to develop," said McKenzie.

"Our execution and errors are keeping us under pressure and until we sort those out it's going to be hard work. We're way off the mark at the moment.

"It was hard work chasing the scoreboard. We played without the law for the first half of the game.

"We ended up over-kicking. The referee was pretty strong on reffing the defensive side and early on we hadn't played with much ball at all and were stuck in our half.

"You've got to feel the game. You can have all the ideas you like about how the game is going to pan out but have you have to get the balance right between kicking and running the ball. We were a bit slow off the mark in terms of making that adjustment.

"We have made progress defensively, but we went down to 14 men twice and had to hang in there.

"The guys coming off the bench did a better job and we had our moments in attack, but we missed opportunities through poor execution."

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