Rugby Championship News

Disappointed Boks refuse to blame yellow card





Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer admitted that they were disappointed to lose 24-23 to Australia in the Rugby Championship but refused to blame the loss on a yellow card.

Australia surged into the lead in the final minutes of the match after Bryan Habana, playing in his 100th Test, was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle.

In Habana’s absence Australia scored 10 points through a penalty, a try by winger Rob Horne and Bernard Foley’s conversion.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer and captain Jean de Villiers refused to be drawn on the issue of Habana’s yellow card, as well as a first-half penalty awarded to Australia for a high tackle by Duane Vermeulen.

“What happened is done and it can’t be changed,” said Meyer.

“We’re very disappointed with the defeat because we played very well. I thought we controlled the second half very well, playing against the wind, and the yellow card disrupted our plans on how we wanted to use the bench.

“No excuses, though, it’s a defeat and it really hurts. We now need to set our sights on our next match, which is our third away from home on the trot, and rectify matters against New Zealand in Wellington.

“It will take a monumental effort … we’ve got a lot of respect for New Zealand, but I believe we can beat them there.”

De Villiers, who played in his 99th Test for South Africa, said, “We played great rugby at stages, but they stuck to their guns until the end and scored the try that mattered.

“We probably made a few mistakes, which cost us, and defending with 14 men at the end was tough, but credit to the Wallabies for coming back.

“We lost this one and we’ve got to bounce back next week in Wellington.

“We can’t change anything that happened here and have to go back to the drawing board on Monday.”

The Springboks face New Zealand at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington next Saturday.

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