Rassie Erasmus, South Africa’s director of rugby, promised on social media that the Springboks will pull up their socks to make their fans proud.
“Congratulations on the win, Ireland, and sorry, South Africa. We will only work harder to make you proud,” the World Cup-winning coach tweeted.
The Springboks lost 13-8 against Ireland in a hard-fought World Cup match at the Stade de France on Saturday night.
Erasmus also thanked referee Ben O’Keeffe.
“It was good to be part of an intense and physical game where the referee was not too involved. Well done, Ben and your team.”
The defeat against Ireland means that South Africa will most likely play against France in the quarter-finals of the tournament.
Scotland could also still stand in the way of the Boks’ play-offs, but the bagpipers will not only have to achieve bonus point victories against Tonga and Romania, they will also have to put a decent ear to Ireland.
“Thank you, South Africa, for all your support. It was really nice (but sad),” concluded Erasmus.
Jacques Nienaber confirmed earlier that the Springboks are focusing their full attention on the Tonga game.
“We cannot afford to think about France. If we stumble against Tonga, we won’t even qualify for the quarter-finals.”
The Boks returned to their base in Toulon to prepare for the game against the islanders.
The clash against Tonga will be decided on 1 October in Marseille.