The Springboks will do a detailed review of their performance following this past Sunday’s 28-26 Rugby Championship defeat by the Wallabies in Gold Coast.
Wallaby flyhalf Quade Cooper – who contributed 23 points with the boot in the match – kicked a penalty goal on the stroke of full time to snatch victory for his team, handing the Springboks their first defeat in the 2021 Rugby Championship.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and captain Siya Kolisi pinned the defeat on ill-discipline and a few missed point-scoring opportunities, as the South Africans conceded 11 penalties, played with 14 men for twenty minutes, while they also missed four shots at goal and two additional try-scoring chances.
“It’s hard to say [if there’s one lesson one can take from this],” Bok hooker Malcolm Marx said.
“It is a tough pill to swallow. We’ll have to look at the game in detail and see where we need to improve. There’s always room to grow, so we’ll have a look at the detail and work on that for next week.”
Marx, who scored two of South Africa’s three tries, added: “There is always work to be done, no matter how a team performs – win or lose – so you can get better regardless of the result. There are a few things we’ll focus on this week and work to improve on that for next week’s game.”
Sbu Nkosi, who played right wing in the injury-enforced absence of Cheslin Kolbe, said improving the execution of their game plan would be one of the key factors as they look to bounce back strongly in the next meeting between the sides on Saturday, 18 September, at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
“I’d say it [the defeat] boiled it down to execution,” said Nkosi. “I don’t think we have to go back to the drawing board and change anything.
“We are still learning to be world champions and we are trying to grow and to be better at that. Our plan has given us great success, so I think we just need to execute it better.”
The talented wing adopted a firm stance to the Boks’ style of play when being quizzed about the possibility of showing more adaptability and said: “It’s hard to say if plan A didn’t work.
“We scored three tries to one, so it was our discipline that let us down because they kicked 23 points off the tee.
“Mauling is an attacking set piece and we scored three tries from that.”
The Springboks, who made the journey from Sanctuary Cove to Brisbane on Monday, will wrap up their Rugby Championship campaign with back-to-back Tests against the All Blacks on Saturday, 25 September in Townsville, and Saturday, 2 October in Gold Coast.