Hitting Rock Bottom
Hitting Rock Bottom: Springbok captain Adriaan Strauss has admitted that his team were at rock bottom after losing 20-18 to Italy. “This was a very dark day for the players‚ management and the whole of the SA rugby public‚” Strauss said. “We apologise for it‚ although that won’t make anybody feel better about it. “We are not going to offer any excuses‚ what happened today (Saturday) was not worthy of what we stand for as a team and as a rugby playing country. “We are in a dark place at the moment and we must get ourselves out of it. The Boks have now lost seven of their 11 Tests in 2016 and one more defeat would make it statistically the worst season since the Springboks were readmitted to Test rugby in 1992.
Coach Allister Coetzee once again bemoaned ‘silly mistakes’ and he was not wrong. “The players have to take ownership on the field‚” Coetzee said. “It could come from poor decisions. We had spoken about scoring back-to-back points‚ but after we scored a try we immediately let them score because of a silly penalty. They are simple errors we are making. “We did a lot right through the kicking game and playing in the right areas. We had about five or six lineouts in the opposition 22-metre area and yet we haven’t capitalised or converted any of those chances. “It’s embarrassing if I’m honest. We had a good plan and the players bought into it‚ but somehow when the pressure was on and Italy stayed close‚ and gained belief‚ we went outside of our plan.”