‘Win will fuel belief’

Allister Coetzee believes that the Springboks showed signs of progress in their 18-10 win against the Wallabies on Saturday, reports JON CARDINELLI in Pretoria.

The result at Loftus Versfeld sees the Boks snapping a three-game losing streak. As the Bok coach admitted afterwards, it was an important match for the South African team in the context of their season.

The performance, however, left a lot to be desired. The Boks missed 21 tackles in all, and failed to win the territorial battle. For the first time in 2016, they did not score a single try over the course of the game, and had to rely on the boot of Morné Steyn to clinch the contest.

Coetzee, however, declared himself a happy man after the Test at Loftus.

‘This side was under pressure going into this match. We needed the win to get some belief back in the system and how we want to play,’ the Bok coach said.

‘The way we played showed how much we are growing as a team. Firstly, to hit back after the recent results showed character. And then, regarding the performance, our defence was outstanding and our set piece put them under pressure.’

Coetzee bristled when it was pointed out again that the team had failed to score a try.

‘Morné Steyn did well to knock those penalties over, and to kick those drop goals. That is how to win a Test match.

‘I think we have been good with ball in hand at times this season, but we haven’t been able to build continuity. There were also periods when we got bogged down in our own half [at Loftus], but when we got into their half, we looked good.’

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika and captain Stephen Moore felt they had done enough to win this match. The visitors missed three kicks at goal on Saturday, and spurned several try-scoring chances. Cheika felt the Wallabies did well to win territory but were undone by poor finishing.

‘The Wallabies handled our kicking game well,’ admitted Coetzee. ‘We came into this game with a plan that involved a distance-kicking game at Loftus, but then our kick chase could have done better on the night.

‘Overall, I think this was an important result for us. We have taken a step in the right direction, which bodes well ahead of our match against the best team in the world next week.’

The Boks will play the All Blacks in Durban on 8 October.

Photo: Anne Laing/HSM Images

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Jon Cardinelli