Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee and captain, Adriaan Strauss, apologised to the South African nation on Saturday after the team suffered a 20-18 loss against Italy in Florence earlier in the day.
Skipper Strauss said the team was very disappointed by the performance.
“We are not going to offer any excuses, what happened today was not worthy of what we stand for as a team and as a rugby playing country. We are in a dark place at the moment and we must get ourselves out of it,” said Strauss.
Coetzee described the loss as the darkest moment of his coaching career, while he also congratulated Italy on their historic win.
It was the first time in 13 matches that Italy have managed to defeat the Springboks.
“No disrespect to Italy, but it’s not good enough for the Springboks to lose to Italy. I can only congratulate them on an outstanding victory,” said Coetzee.
“Compared to us, they played without any pressure on them while we looked like a team that lacked self-belief and had a fear of failure.
“I would say it’s the darkest moment of my coaching career. Definitely the toughest. But I don’t want to look at it emotionally now, because emotions are high.”
The Springboks conclude their Castle Lager Outgoing Tour next week in Cardiff when they play against Wales at the Millennium Stadium.