Boks to reset mentally with All Blacks looming

Handre Pollard admitted that while the Springboks were bitterly disappointed following their 30-17 defeat against Australia on Saturday, they can’t “feel sorry” for themselves for too long.

The South Africans face a mammoth task to turn things around after suffering back-to-back defeats against the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship, and the team’s vice-captain and flyhalf admitted that the process will start with an honest review of their performance in Brisbane.

The Springboks conceded four tries and received two yellow cards in the match – with Faf de Klerk and Jasper Wiese being sent to the sin bin – in a performance Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber described as their worst since going down against Argentina in Mendoza in 2018.

Pollard attributed the defeat to a lack of accuracy in their execution and mistakes at crucial times, but he said it was important not to dwell on the disappointment for too long and instead focus their energy on turning the corner.

“It’s tough,” said Pollard.

“We are emotional and disappointed in ourselves, but we’ll have a look at the match see where we went wrong and what we can do better, and then we have to make plans for next week [where the Boks will face the All Blacks in Townsville].

“It was very disappointing, but a huge test awaits us next week and we have to get ourselves ready for that.”

Responding to how the Boks can achieve that, Pollard said: “We have to be very honest with ourselves in the review of the game and see where we can improve.

“But we can’t feel sorry for ourselves for too long. We must try to get over this quickly, so we’ll have a reset day on Sunday.

“There certainly won’t be a lack of motivation when we face the All Blacks, and in every Test for that matter. We know we are not good enough at the moment, but we’ll develop plans.

“The one thing I know about this team is when our backs are against the wall, we can come back strongly. We can’t say much more than that and we won’t make excuses, but we’ll come back next week and hopefully turn things around.”

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Craig Lewis