Div: It's not a trainsmash
Auckland – At least we can’t get any worse.
That was the reaction of Springbok coach Peter de Villiers after Saturday’s 32-12 defeat to the All Blacks at Eden Park.
The Boks could not score a single try and at times it looked as if they did not belong on the same field as the home team.
By contrast the All Blacks scored four tries and even gained a bonus point that may ultimately prove decisive in the competition.
“There is no panic. We know we were poor and it can’t get worse,” De Villiers said afterwards.
He refused to acknowledge the negative aspects of the defeat.
“It was not a trainsmash. It was the first game of the tournament and we weren’t the best team on the field. There is nothing that happened that we cannot fix,” said De Villiers.
He admitted that things would have to be sorted out quickly.
“These things happen and it had nothing to do with our preparation. We just did not play well. The All Blacks made their own luck and got it. Well done to them, they did very well.”
De Villiers believes the big difference was that the Boks allowed themselves to be dominated.
“We can still determine our success in the rest of the tournament and it’s still in our hands. We know what to fix,” said the coach.
“At least we scrummed well.”
Springbok captain John Smit admitted that they were dominated.
“We did not pitch and never switched on. It’s frustrating and hurts. We weren’t competitive.”
According to Smit they still have an opportunity to put things right in Wellington this coming weekend.
“We have high standards and that is why our performances really hurt. There are lessons to be learned from such bad defeats.”
Smit blamed himself for the two lineouts that the Boks lost.
“I struggled with my throwing for the whole week and both those throws were too low to Victor. He must be annoyed.”