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Jon Cardinelli

Coetzee denies clash with boss


Mark Alexander and Allister Coetzee Mark Alexander and Allister Coetzee

Allister Coetzee says his post-match meeting with SA Rugby president Mark Alexander was ‘productive’ and in no way heated. JON CARDINELLI in Paris reports.

The Boks went down 38-3 in Dublin last Saturday to record their worst-ever defeat to Ireland. On Sunday, a report alleged that the Bok coach and the SA Rugby president faced off in a heated exchange. It also suggested that Coetzee's contract will be terminated in December after two seasons of shocking results.

This tour to Europe is likely to be Coetzee’s last with the national team. Under Coetzee, the Boks have achieved a 41% win-record and slumped to several record-breaking defeats.

On Monday, Coetzee addressed the media for the first time since arriving in Paris. He admitted he had met with Alexander after the game.

‘It was actually a very productive meeting. We spoke about how we are going to turn things around [ahead of the next tour matches against France, Italy and Wales].

‘We had a chat about the plan. I just kept him up to date in terms of how we have planned.’

Coetzee denied that there had been an argument.

‘I’m not sure about your source, but maybe you should check it. It wasn’t heated at all.

‘You guys know me. I don’t mince my words, but this is the first I’m hearing about a heated argument.’

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Not for the first time on this tour, Coetzee was asked if he was feeling the pressure and if his days as head coach were indeed numbered.

‘There’s always pressure on a Springbok coach if he doesn’t win,’ he said. ‘That’s the nature of the beast.

‘It’s been a better season in the sense that I’ve seen this team grow. We won one away and drew one away in the Rugby Championship this year.’

That said, the Boks have not won a match since beating Argentina in August, and have lost four consecutive Tests in the northern hemisphere while Coetzee has been at the helm.

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