After a good and positive start in the opening half, the Springboks were unable to replicate their first-half form against the All Blacks in the second period, who won their Castle Lager Rugby Championship Test 41-13 at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch on Saturday. New Zealand led 15-10 at halftime.
Allister Coetzee, the Springbok coach, said afterwards a few couple of mistakes allowed New Zealanders to take the game away from them after the South Africans have made a good start to the match.
“We scored a great try and just after the kick-off we let New Zealand in,” said Coetzee. “It also happened the second half when we were a bit indecisive on the exit, they got another scrum and then capitalised on it.”
Regarding the difference between the two sides, Coetzee said: “The New Zealanders are very clinical. They know when to play, where to play, and although they made a couple of mistakes in the first half, they took their chances. That’s the difference between the two teams at this point in time.“Full credit to New Zealand, their systems are working well. The transition from World Cup-winning team to the next has been very, very good, unlike in our case.
“There are things which we can fix, the players now have a week off before we assemble again, and we will work very hard when we get together for the next two matches,” said Coetzee.
The Springbok coach congratulated Malcolm Marx on earning his first Test cap for the Springboks and also Francois Louw for earning his 50th cap. Marx, the young Emirates Lions hooker, replaced captain Adriaan Strauss early in the second half after the skipper came off the field because of a knock to his lower back.
“Malcolm now has a taste of what it is like to play international rugby, and he got the experience of playing against the All Blacks, which is something special, especially in your debut match,” added Coetzee.
The Springboks now return home on Sunday evening and the squad will assemble again next week in Johannesburg.
The remaining two remaining Castle Lager Rugby Championship fixtures are on 1 October against Australia in Pretoria and against New Zealand one week later in Durban.