Springbok coach, Allister Coetzee, took a number of positive signs from the team’s 27-27 draw against the Wallabies in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The Springboks missed a last minute penalty from long range to win the match, which was a good summary of his team’s performance, said Coetzee – close but not quite enough.
“We created opportunities and that was the pleasing thing,” said Coetzee. “The fact that we did not convert all of those, was not. This was a fantastic test match, with the physicality right up there and the skill set on display was very good and we were part of that. There were foundations laid and lessons learned tonight that will take this team forward.
“We do create opportunities; players must never be scared to take chances. We feel that we were the better team out there tonight.”
The coach was impressed by the variety in play from his backline.
“The physicality of our backs was good. When we needed to go through them, we did and when we needed to go round them, we could. We played against an experienced and world class backline and shaped up well. We expected the brilliant playing conditions and wanted to play the ball wide at times, this worked well for us. We managed some good, wide passes.”
Coetzee admitted that some of the areas did not go well. “We pride ourselves on our set-piece and a number of penalties went against us in the scrums. I will have to look at those scrum calls again, at times I felt the calls could have gone for us, but it went the other way.”
The coach also felt their play at the breakdown were not as effective as it could be. “We will have to have a look at the breakdown, we did not do well there.”
“We will take positives from this match and build on that,” said Coetzee as he looked ahead to next weekend’s match against New Zealand.