Brendan Venter insists Allister Coetzee and the Springboks were unlucky to have won only seven Tests in the 2017 season.
SA Rugby confirmed the sacking of Coetzee on Friday and Venter, who was one of the outgoing coach’s deputies, voiced his opinion after the announcement was made.
‘Contrary to popular belief, the Boks showed great improvement last year. Won 7. Drew 2. Lost 2 by a point and lost 2 matches badly. This young Bok side was outplayed on only 2 out of 13 matches. With a bit of luck they could have won 11 out of 13.
‘The point I am trying to make is that this group has real potential. Last year was not wasted. They learnt a lot and, if new coaches back this group, they could become world beaters.
‘If the new coaching staff builds on what was good and [work on] changes that did not work. This group has the talent to improve on those results by winning those 4 close games and if they lose 2 matches out of 13, [they can] make sure they are competetive in those matches.’
Venter also threw his support behind Coetzee, who was embroiled in a bitter fight with the SA Rugby bosses before his departure.
‘Good thing SA rugby and Allister could come to an agreement which both parties are happy with. Reality is, there will be obstacles in their path, as Allister pointed out. If they don’t heed that advice there will be lots of tears and finger pointing next year this time.
‘My final plea [to] all parties. Put your pride away. Sit around the table like sensible rugby men and talk rugby. Ask Allister what he would have done differently. Learn from it. He is a good man and a good coach. All everybody wants is the Boks to be dominant again. Good luck.’
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