For the first 20 minutes of the Rugby Championship match between the Springboks and the All Blacks in Auckland, it was one-way traffic as the home team kept the scoreboard going.
Sam Cane’s team built up a 17 – 0 lead in the blink of an eye and even if the South Africans later came up with a fightback (the final score was 35 – 20 in favor of the Kiwis), they took the game in the opening salvo. lose.
“It wasn’t an ideal run-up to the game at all,” Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber said after the showdown.
“Poor discipline – we conceded four penalties in a row – a bunch of unforced errors and five missed tackles put us on the back foot. A top-quality team like New Zealand will certainly capitalize on that.”
The Springboks then had to play catch-up rugby and the fact that they were able to score more points in the second half (17 – 15) is irrelevant – the All Blacks’ lead was just too big.
— Springboks (@Springboks) July 15, 2023
“I don’t think we often have a bad run-up to a game, but sometimes it happens. We now knew what to expect and we just couldn’t handle it. At the same time, I am proud of the way we fought back; unfortunately the damage was already done in the first half.”
According to Nienaber, some of the players were perhaps too eager to make their mark on the game, while they also had too little game time behind the plate.
“You could see that the substitutes were a little more on their toes, but we don’t want to make excuses.”
The Springboks play in their final Rugby Championship match against Argentina in Johannesburg on 29 July.