Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers says coming close to beating the All Blacks cannot be regarded as a success.
The Boks' 27-20 defeat at Ellis Park last Saturday was their sixth in seven matches against their arch-rivals since Heyneke Meyer become coach.
Meyer said afterwards that his side had come ‘within millimetres’ of beating both Australia and New Zealand in recent weeks, referring to Tevita Kuridrani's match-winning try in Brisbane and Lood de Jager's disallowed try in Joburg.
‘If we are this week content with coming within millimetres of a win against the All Blacks, then we’re satisfied with second best, and that doesn’t cut it,’ De Villiers wrote in The Times.
De Villiers suggested the Boks’ poor 14% win record against the All Blacks over the past four years meant narrow defeats had become seen as acceptable.
‘That kind of thinking won’t force the players to soul-search and see where they can improve to meet the world standards required as individuals and a team. Let alone one hoping to win its third World Cup, in the UK.’
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