The lack of experience and their inability to sustain their game plan cost the Springboks a possible victory over the Wallabies in Perth on Saturday night.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer believes that their game plan worked well for the first hour, but after losing the likes of Bryan Habana and Jannie du Plessis to injury, the lack of experience showed.
The coach spoke after the Springboks lost 26-19 in The Castle Rugby Championship.
“We executed very well for the first 60 minutes and our game plan was working well. We managed to put them under pressure,” Meyer said.
“There was two soft moments that cost us, at this level and playing away from home you cannot afford to make those mistakes. We also lost Bryan and Jannie and we lost a lot of experience there. We played better but I am still not happy with the performance,” Meyer said.
“We got enough quick ball and there was improvement in all the areas. Our drives got better in the second half. Our tactical game and our line chase were much better, although in the last twenty minutes we did not apply enough pressure on them and our chasing was not so good.”
Meyer gave the Wallabies credit for their effort.
“They are an experienced side and they know how to win games, especially at home.”
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers agreed that the opponents deserved the victory.
“They came back from 13-3 down and won the test match by seven. You have to give credit to them, so they will be happy, they stepped up.”
De Villiers did not feel that the yellow card to prop Beast Mtawarira near the end of the first half caught up with them later in the match.
“I thought we handled the ten minutes without Beast well. I can’t remember us conceding any points during that time. It was only later in the game that we conceded points. People ask what experience means, you could see that late in the game. Nathan Sharpe has more test caps that our pack of forwards together.”
The team will get better, he said.
“We will only get better the more we play together. It was a massive improvement from our last test. There was no aspect where we were poor at. The guys gave it their all.”
Australia – Tries: Scott Higginbotham, Ben Alexander. Conversions: Berrick Barnes (2). Penalties: Barnes (4).
South Africa – Try: Bryan Habana. Conversion: Mornè Steyn. Penalties: M Steyn (2), Frans Steyn (2).