LONDON – Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said the defeat against England was hurtful, but he also praised his team for their courage at Twickenham, especially during the latter stages of the absorbing Test, which England won 37-21.
“It’s hurting,” Coetzee said after the match following his side’s defeat against the number two ranked team in the world.
“However, this team doesn’t give up and I draw comfort from the way they kept fighting out there today.”
Coetzee said the Springbok mistakes allowed England to take the game away from his team. It was the first England win in a decade over South Africa.
“We had them under pressure but we couldn’t handle their contestable kicks. Those individual mistakes cost us,” explained the coach. “At times we were a bit passive in defence – we need a bit more speed off the line.
“Our set-piece was again very solid, but we needed a much better overall performance.”
Coetzee added: “I also think one should give England credit for playing the conditions very well. Their half-back pair were superb in terms of the kicking game. It was a matter of being patient, and they waited to pounce on our mistakes.”
The Springboks’ next Test is against Italy on Saturday in Florence.
“We need to get a win. That is one important thing for any team. You can work as hard as you want, but for belief in structures and the team itself, you need to win,” said the coach.
Centre Francois Venter made his debut in the Bok midfield while lock Eben Etzebethhad to leave the field early because of a clash of heads.