Allister Coetzee says he was left in 'disbelief' as a result of the Springboks' inability to finish off opportunities against Italy on Saturday.
Overall, the Boks benefited from 62% of territory and 58% of possession, while they beat 19 defenders to four and completed 412 running metres to 130. However, they only managed to score two tries as they slipped to a historic first-ever loss to Italy.
Poor execution has been a problem that has haunted the Boks all year, and yet coach Allister Coetzee didn't seem to have any answers after Saturday's game, while once again pointing out silly errors that cost the side.
'The players have to take ownership on the field. We will have a platform to discuss other issues, but as a team we need to deal with on-field problems,' he commented.
'Our job is to get the Springbok team to win again. It’s not good enough losing to Italy‚ just as it wasn’t good enough losing to Japan [at the 2015 World Cup]. That’s no disrespect to Italy because they deserved their win.
'They tackled and tackled and fought for their win. But in the first 30 minutes of the game we had many opportunities. I look at it in disbelief and ask myself‚ why can’t we take the chances‚ and why can’t we round off scoring opportunities?'
Captain Adriaan Strauss said there were no excuses at the end of a dark day that ultimately saw the Boks slip to their seventh defeat in 11 Tests.
'The blows to the body are fine‚ but the blows to the heart will stay for a long time. It’s tough to deal with this, but it’s important to now make the right decisions and have the right conversations.'