'Outclassed' and 'outplayed'

Sun, 09 Oct 2016 06:28

REACTION: Springbok captain Adriaan Strauss believes there is still a bright future in store for the Springboks, despite a 15-57 home defeat to the All Blacks in Durban.

The match was Strauss' last home Test in the green and gold as he will be retiring from international rugby at the end of the year. However, the result makes it memorable for all the wrong reasons for the 30-year-old hooker.

While the All Blacks are at a totally different level on the internationals stage, the Boks produced another dismal performance against the world champions at Kings Park. 

It was also New Zealand's biggest win over South Africa, eclipsing their 52-16 win at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria in 2003 

"This is not about my last Test, this is about the Springboks and it was not good enough on the night," Strauss told reporters after the match.

"Credit to the All blacks. They definitely outclassed us, especially in the last 20 minutes. We fought quite hard to hang in there in the first half and a couple of minutes after that, but we were outclassed and outplayed by the All Blacks and I want to congratulate them as well with their season and the Championship."

The defeat in Durban was the Boks' fifth of the season, but Strauss is remaining optimistic that things will change in the future.

"I definitely don't question their [Bok players] commitment. I think we have got a lot of talented players that might still be young and inexperienced

"I am still very positive for the future of South African rugby. Tonight [Saturday] was not our night.

Strauss added: "There is no time feeling sorry for ourselves. We need to bounce back now as a team and it is time to show the resilience and the character that we have talked about in the past. It is now time show it and stand up."

Meanwhile, Springbok head coach Allister Coetzee believes his team still has a lot of growing to do.

"You are under constant pressure to win Test matches," said Coetzee.

"Once you have to restart after a World Cup cycle you are actually sitting between a rock and a hard place. You need to win Test matches but you want to evolve as well. 

"With a young group of players that got their first Test caps, it was quite challenging and tough to start with that group in the Test arena. There are no excuses we have to make sure that we move forward."

By Warren Fortune, in Durban

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