Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber pulled no punches and offered no excuses after South Africa went down by 30-17 to the Wallabies in their Rugby Championship Test in Brisbane on Saturday, admitting that they were outplayed in all areas.
Nienaber described the performance as the Springboks’ worst since 2018, and said they will need a massive improvement if they want to be competitive against New Zealand next weekend.
“We were truly beaten in each department, and beaten hands down,” said a disappointed Jacques Nienaber after the Test.
“We just made too many errors in every aspect of our game and we need to figure out quickly what went wrong, as things don’t get any easier in the next two weeks.
“In the Rugby Championship, you get tested differently by each opponent and we came up short against Australia. Next week will be another massive, but different challenge and we will have to try and turn things around. Win or lose, we have a review process anyway, and that will be done again.”
Nienaber apologised to Springbok supporters for the performance, which he described as the worst since the defeat against Argentina in Mendoza in 2018 and not worthy of the green and gold jersey.
“We were overpowered. We have not conceded four tries in a match since 2018 and today we could not respond to the challenges put up by Australia,” the Springbok coach said.
As the Springboks’ defence coach, Nienaber said one of the four tries scored by Australia was a system error, but the rest were down to poor defensive execution. To add to their woes, the Boks also delivered an inconsistent kicking game, their coach said.
“Guys missed tackles today that they normally make,” said Nienaber.
“If every player in the team misses just one tackle, you will have 23 missed tackles and at times it felt like that was happening.
“We executed poorly and that led to points against us as well. We did create some opportunities, but the error rate just nullified that. This was an unheard-of performance today, to be honest.”