Meyer: It is not the ref's fault
Meyer: It is not the ref's faultSHARE
South African coach Heyneke Meyer refused to blame the referee for his team's disappointing 15-29 loss to New Zealand.
The All Blacks took the outright lead in the Rugby Championship in Auckland Saturday.
In a match marred by a red card for Springboks hooker Bismarck du Plessis, after two yellow cards for what most observers agreed was ridiculous calls by French referee Romain Poite, the All Blacks also picked up a bonus point with four tries against the previously unbeaten South Africans.
The All Blacks finished with only 13-men – with two yellow cards in the final 10 minutes, when captain Kieran Read was dismissed for playing an opponent in the air and Ma'a Nonu was sent from the field for a shoulder charge.
The Springboks came to New Zealand confident they could shatter their Eden Park hoodoo, where they have not won since 1937.
However, Meyer refused to blame the cards or the referee for the loss and said he had no excuses.
"The ref is always right," he said.
"If you start making excuses for your team then they start to make excuses.
"There were a lot of things that weren't good enough even when we had 15 men on the field."
He was supported in his view by captain Jean de Villiers.
"It's always hard when you play New Zealand. I guess when you play 50 minutes with 14 men it doesn't make it any easier," De Villiers said.
"What a way to disappoint yourself, dishing up a performance like that. But I think we've seen how far we are still behind the All Blacks. Credit must go to them, the way that they played. They're a fantastic team and we can learn a lot from them.
"It's definitely not fatigue that had the best of us today. Defensively we were very poor, we didn't make our tackles and that's something we pride ourselves on."
De Villiers was not looking for any excuses like the travel factor.
"It is as it is and part of the competition and we have to adapt to that. But it was not fatigue that got us out there tonight. From a performance side of things, we did not make our tackles tonight and that is something we proud ourselves on. We took a couple of steps back."
The Springbok captain had a message to their fans.
"We made a couple of mistakes out there tonight and will work very hard to get it right. There is still two matches left in the competition and we still have a lot to play for, so we will have to work very hard to rectify those errors we made here tonight."
The Springboks return to South Africa on Sunday and will assemble in Cape Town during next week.
Their next fixture in the Rugby Championship is on September 28, when they play Australia at Newlands