Jacques Nienaber and Siya Kolisi say the Springboks could not get their scrum or maul going in the face of an aggressive Irish pack in Dublin on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
Without the go-forward generated from their set-piece, the Springboks struggled to make the most of their territorial dominance in the 19-16 loss in Dublin.
Speaking after the match, Kolisi was left frustrated, not only by the faltering set-piece, but also by the Boks’ wastefulness, as they squandered numerous opportunities in the face of Ireland’s brick wall defence.
“Our lineouts could be better. Our mauls were stopped from the word go,” said the Bok skipper. “Our scrum can also do much better. We normally dominate, but Ireland came prepared. They knew our maul was one of our key platforms and they stopped us really well.
“In the Rugby Championship, we created so many opportunities, but didn’t take them. The same thing happened today. We saw today that Ireland created a couple of opportunities and scored with both of them.”
Despite at least one of Ireland’s two tries appearing to come from a forward pass in the build-up, Kolisi refused to blame the match officials for the defeat, although he said when he asked the referees about the build-up to Mack Hansen’s try, they were happy that there was no forward pass.
Bok coach Jacques Nienaber, meanwhile, paid tribute to Ireland as one of the best mauling teams in the world.
“In the build-up to this week we spoke about everyone looking at Ireland’s attack, but they are probably the team that mauls the most after us. They score a lot of maul tries. They scored two tries against New Zealand and one against France. They do have a strong maul, even though people don’t necessarily realise that – Ireland disguise it really well.
“We couldn’t get any dominance at the scrum. Hats off to Ireland. They fully deserve this one.”
Nienaber implied that the Springboks won’t be throwing out their game plan ahead of next week’s Test against current world number two France in Marseilles.
“The reality is we played Ireland away – they are number one in the world – at a full Aviva and we lost by three points. We had a couple of opportunities that we didn’t use, but they did use their opportunities. That is the reality. We must take the learnings from it. We have one week and then we play France. Some things will take time, some things won’t.”
Photo: Twitter: @Springboks