Springboks hit lowest point in fifty years of rugby

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer says that South Africa’s performance against
Argentina in Durban on Saturday was “very poor” and while captain
Jean de Villiers admitted that they were “lethargic” as they fell to a fourth straight loss.

The Springboks suffered their first ever loss to Argentina as the Pumas earned
a 25-37 bonus point victory which meant that South Africa went through a TriNations
or Rugby Championship without a win for the first time in history.

Argentina made 11 changes for the match but outscored South Africa by four
tries to three to hand the Springboks back to back home losses after they were
beaten by New Zealand’s All Blacks a week earlier.

The result means that South Africa finished in last place on the 2015 Rugby
Championship standings.

The Springboks have now lost five of their last seven Test matches and it marked
the first time since 1965 that the national team lost four Tests matches in
a row.

‘Man-of-the-Match’ Juan Imhoff also became the first player in
124 years of Test rugby to score a hat-trick of tries against the Springboks.

Throughout the Rugby Championship, Meyer’s men looked impressive on attack
on occasions, but defensively they have lacked the accuracy needed to compete
against the world’s top sides.

Meyer credited Argentina with the win, saying the Pumas deserved it after a
great performance.

He highlighted the fact that his men were not able to adapt to the visitors’
style of play.

“We have let our country and our supporters down today with this unacceptable
performance,” said Meyer.

“We are a proud team, but you will lose sometimes. What we dished up
in the first half was very poor. I apologise to the nation because the buck
stops with me as coach of the team.

“There are no excuses. I take responsibility and will work harder to
rectify this before the Rugby World Cup gets under way.”

Meyer lamented his side’s handling errors and inability to secure quick-phase
ball as contributing factors for their downfall.

“We managed quick ball against New Zealand and Australia despite them
having two of the best open-siders in the world. Today we could not manage that,
for a variety of reasons.”

Despite suffering the most embarrassing defeat in recent history, Meyer insisted
that this setback would not derail his World Cup plans.

“This does not put us back for the Rugby World Cup. We are a much better
team than this. We will be working even harder. I still believe we are in contention
for the World Cup. We are getting a number of big-ball carriers back soon and
we will be better for it.”

Springbok captain, Jean de Villiers, also had no excuses to offer.

“Credit to them, on the day they were a far better team than us. We conceded
such easy tries, three off set-phases. It was just too easy. We, on the other
hand, had to work very hard for our tries. We were all lethargic today. We need
to find a reason why it happened. We prepared well, but everyone was down today.”

De Villiers feels the players would have to reflect on the poor performance
and conceded that his men were again caught napping after the Pumas scored a
try while the Boks had their backs turned.

Similarly, in their previous Tesy against the All Blacks, Richie McCaw dotted
down from a line-out in a move that caught the team off-guard.

“The medics were still on the field, so that was frustrating when they scored
that try. We should have been ready though, but did not react the way we should
have. It costs you games as we saw.”

The only players who suffered injuries are De Villiers (jaw) and Marcell Coetzee
(knee), but a report on the severity of those injuries is expected on Monday.

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