Coetzee: Bok systems not working
REACTION: South Africa's systems are failing them and that is why they have dropped further behind New Zealand in the global pecking order.
This is the reaction of Springbok coach Allister Coetzee, following a humiliating 13-41 loss to the back-to-back World Cup champion All Blacks in Christchurch at the weekend.
Not only was it the Springboks' third successive loss in the Rugby Championship - their come-from-behind victory in the opening round over Argentina their only triumph - but it is also the fourth loss in seven Tests under the stewardship of Coetzee, dropping their success rate to below 50 percent.
Two fortuitous come-from-behind wins over Ireland (32-26 in Johannesburg and 19-13 in Port Elizabeth) as well as the 30-23 triumph in Nelspruit over the Pumas (when two tries in the final 10 minutes saved their bacon) are the 'positives' from a disastrous campaign.
Coetzee, who said heads could roll after the Christchurch blow-out, spoke of the "soft moments" that cost his team yet again.
However, it is his acknowledgement that South Africa's systems are failing them is probably the most damning indictment of the state of the Bok game.
"Full credit to New Zealand, their systems are working well," Coetzee said in his post-match assessment in Christchurch.
"The transition from World Cup-winning team to the next has been very, very good - unlike in our case."
The Springboks arrive back home on Sunday and Coetzee said he will have some "tough decisions" to make ahead of the next Rugby Championship outing - against Australia in Pretoria on October 1.
"Maybe some of the players are not ready to play at this level," Coetzee said, adding that it won't be "knee-jerk" reactions.
"I'm going to have to make some tough decision when I get back home.
"No players go out there to deliberately make mistakes, so you don't want to break them either.
"For many, this was their first time playing against the All Blacks in New Zealand and the fact is this is a brilliant New Zealand team.
"But yes, this is also what international rugby is about. It's tough to lose, but there will be consequences.
"We're getting one or two experienced players back in South Africa.
"If I have to make changes I will.
"We are an impatient nation and there is no doubt there is a difference between the Currie Cup, Super Rugby and Test rugby.
"At test level, you go and stand behind the poles when you make mistakes.
"I really hope the number of errors will decrease and that the players will take responsibility," Coetzee added.
Apart from the basic errors, Coetzee also identified defence and decision-making as his team's weaknesses.
"To be honest, our defence still needs a lot of work," he said.
"The difference between the two teams is that New Zealand is very clinical. They know when and where to play. They make few errors."
Coetzee said mistakes allowed New Zealand to take the game away from them, after the South Africans have made a good start to the match.
"We scored a great try and just after the kick-off we let New Zealand in," said Coetzee.
"It also happened the second half when we were a bit indecisive on the exit, they got another scrum and then capitalised on it."
"There are things which we can fix," the coach said, adding: "The players now have a week off before we assemble again, and we will work very hard when we get together for the next two matches."