Cape Town – Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth and coach Allister Coetzee both expressed their disappointment after Saturday’s 23-23 draw against Australia in Perth, and it seems the rest of the squad is not happy with the result either.
It is perhaps the biggest sign of how far this team has come this year. Given the woes of 2016, a draw in Australia would have been a welcomed result a year ago.
But now, with a new team culture that is embedded in belief, the Boks expect more.
While they were poor in the first half, a spirited second half showing saw Coetzee’s men turn a 20-10 deficit into a 23-20 lead.
The Boks finished the stronger of the two sides, but in the end both sides had to be content with a draw.
The result means that the Boks remain undefeated after six Tests in 2017, but that did not wash away the disappointment at missing out on a win ‘Down Under’.
“They’re a tough side to play against,” said hooker Malcolm Marx, who got on the score sheet with a try.
“It wasn’t the result we wanted. We would have liked to come away with a ‘W’ but we’ll regroup and focus on next week. This one is in the past and we’ll move on from it.”
Wing Raymond Rhule, who put in a big performance defensively, agreed.
“We’re not happy with a draw. We came over with one goal in mind and that was to take this game. The bounce of the ball didn’t go our way and that’s just rugby,” he said.
Still, both players were pleased with the character shown in the second period.
“This team has the character. We’re definitely going to fight every time we put on this jersey,” said Rhule.
“The guys showed a great spirit to come back like that … great character,” added Marx.
South Africa will now take on New Zealand in Albany this Saturday.