Coetzee: It feels like a loss

Sun, 01 Oct 2017 06:00

REACTION: A 27-all draw at home against the Wallabies was definitely not a good result for Springboks after two weeks of "hard work".

Many fans were looking for a big response from the Boks on the field after their humiliation in Albany against the All Blacks, but they were left disappointed once again

However, while there were some positives for head coach Allister Coetzee, the Boks still lacked accuracy in many areas and a draw at home against an Australian side that has also struggled this year is definitely not something to write home about.

"When you draw at home it actually feels like a loss," Coetzee told reporters after the match. "But I must say I am very proud of this team, very proud of their effort and the way we have played after a tough two weeks.

"It shows the character in the side that was tested. We've been through a helluva emotional week. We spoke about turning it around - they [Australia] got off to a fast start and they scored first, but just the way we got stuck in I am really pleased. 

"There was no problem with our effort once again. There was no problem with the mindset and the way we want to play, we showed that. 

"We know that we created a lot of opportunities and that to me alone is a massive positive. Yes, we didn't take it, yes there was a lot of opportunities out there, but this team can feel that at one stage they were the better team than the Australians out there and that to me is a massive positive."

While there was some improvement in Bloemfontein, the set pieces it is still an area of concern for Coetzee. 

"We always pride ourselves on our set piece and the discipline in the team. That has been strengths for us at the beginning of the season in the French series and obviously, it is not where it should be at the moment. 

"I will have to go look at the breakdown because we got pinned there a couple of times and I saw the same picture on the other side. I will have to have a look at it first. Those are the areas I think we can definitely get better at," Coetzee added.

The Boks and Wallabies played had some good moments during the 80 minutes at the Free State Stadium and Coetzee believes it was the result of two teams trying to get the pressure off their backs. 

"It was a fantastic Test match to be honest with you and that is what people want to see from Test-match rugby. 

"The physicality was right up there; great tries were scored. Obviously, Michael [Cheika] is also busy with his processes and he has been under a helluva lot pressure as well, but you can see that players are responding and they are getting things right.

"I am sure we are in a similar situation. I understand you have to win, but they came out here to play and they came out to put us under pressure in the first 20 [minutes] to work on that emotional scar that we probably had from the New Zealand Test - but I am pleased with the way we responded," he said.

By Warren Fortune, in Bloemfontein

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