Coetzee in 'disbelief' at players' execution

Sun, 20 Nov 2016 13:49

REACTION: Springbok head coach Allister Coetzee could not believe the number of try-scoring opportunities his team spurned during their historic 18-20 defeat to Italy in Florence on Saturday.

It was Italy's first-ever win over the Springboks and it has increased the pressure on Bok coach Allister Coetzee, who has coached the team to seven Test defeats in 2016 already ahead of their final game of the year against Wales next weekend.

After this latest humiliation, Coetzee still has no answers on why his team is playing so poorly. 

"I am looking at the first 30 minutes of the game and you see the opportunities that we've had and I can't believe it," Coetzee told reporters after the game.

"I am also in disbelief on why we are not taking those opportunities and why can't we round off and why can't we finish scoring opportunities. 

"A five-man overlap against two guys or even one guy, and we can't score. I don't have an answer for that. Sometimes it is perpetuated by wrong decisions."

After leading 12-10 at half-time, the Springboks only added six points to their tally in the second half. They could not even cross the whitewash when Italy were down to 14 men when lock Marco Fuser was sent off for driving away a support player in a line-out.

"Credit to their defence and they did not just have a good shape to their defence," Coetzee added. "They were quite physical on defence as well and it does make it a bit difficult in wet conditions...but there was definitely something wrong with our attack.

Coetzee believes his players could not cope when they were put under pressure by a young Italian side.

"The players bought into the plan and somehow when the pressure is one and the Italians got belief back and had a sniff, we went outside the plan again and we made mistakes again. We got stuck in that rut again. But the plan is always there.

"There is never a moment at training where I can say the players did not pitch up. It has been a great week in Florence and great preparation. Even the weather, except for today [Saturday].

"Our preparation, there is nothing wrong with that," Coetzee said.

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