Boks 'did enough' to win at Newlands
REACTION: The Springboks lost to the All Blacks again, but they certainly lifted spirits in South Africa with their tenacious performance against the World Champions at Newlands on Saturday.
After their 0-57 defeat to the All Blacks earlier in the Rugby Championship campaign, many were expecting another drubbing in Cape Town. Instead, the Boks, with their big pack of forwards, put in a herculean effort during the 80 minutes and they were close to causing an upset, with the All Blacks edging the result 25-24.
"We are disappointed with the result," Coetzee told reporters after the match.
"I think we did enough out there. We needed two points, but it showed again that if you turn the ball over against New Zealand they will punish you.
"I'm really proud of the process with the team. I actually feel very sorry for the players.
"The way they trained this week and what we committed to one another in the build-up was prevalent tonight [Saturday] and it shows that the processes are on track and this team is a really good side."
Coetzee hailed his forwards for their industrious performance in the narrow defeat.
"It is really pleasing that to come back from 0-57 drubbing, which we felt that was not going to define this team and a draw against a very good Australian side.
"Unfortunately, in all three games, we felt that we were in it, we played to win it and unfortunately we didn't get the result.
"There are a lot of things that I am so positive about this team, so we really feel that we are heading in the right direction.
"Our big boys were really big tonight and I think to an extent they actually got on top of the big boys of New Zealand.
"The big thing was ball-in-hand - we did that and scored immediately after half-time. I mean it was probably, in the history of Test rugby, the longest first half I've seen, so it just showed that we didn't come to compete, but we wanted to win this game badly.
"What more can you ask from a team like this," Coetzee added.
Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth was visibly hurt by the one-point defeat, but he was also immensely proud of his side's performance.
"I think I got mixed emotions," said Etzebeth.
"On the one side I am very proud of the guys for the performance they put in, but I am also disappointed by the result.
"We would have loved to win this game at Newlands. I think the All Black guys were very good.
"Coach Allister and the rest of the guys put in perfect plans for us to win this Test match, so thanks to the brilliant management team that we have and then also the individuals there back in the team room. I am very proud of them.
"Unfortunately, we needed two more points. We will look at that and see where we went wrong, where we could have gotten those two points, but we will have a week or two off now and then start preparing for the end-of-year tour then it is back to the drawing board.
"We definitely want to do well on the end-of-year tour."
By Warren Fortune