Coetzee hints at changes

Date published: September 17 2016

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Springboks coach Allister Coetzee has hinted that he could make some changes to his playing staff after Saturday's loss to the All Blacks.

Speaking after the 41-13 defeat in Christchurch, Coetzee revealed that he could drop players for their clash against Australia in Pretoria on October 2.

"Maybe some players are not ready for this level yet," he said.

"I will have to make some tough decisions."

The Boks had their tails up thanks to a superb try from Bryan Habana midway through the first half but five-pointers from Israel Dagg and Julian Savea  helped New Zealand to a 15-10 lead at half-time.

South Africa were still in the game at that stage but a Ben Smith try early in the second half meant the All Blacks were soon on the front-foot and they continued to dominate for the rest of the half.

"I know it's not nice to lose, but we don't have to overreact. Players don't make mistakes on purpose. We don't want to break players, even if sometimes they make schoolboy errors," Coetzee said.

"Sometimes at Currie Cup and Super Rugby level you can get away with making mistakes. At Test level you have to go stand behind the poles after a mistake. I really hope we'll make less errors and that the players take more responsibility. The mistakes often occur due to a lack of confidence. It's important for the players to do the little things right and then you can look at making a bigger difference. 

"We scored a great try and just after the kick-off we let New Zealand in," added Coetzee.

"Those are soft moments. They capitalised on that. That's the difference between the two teams at this point in time. They know when to play, where to play, without making mistakes."

Coetzee said he wasn't surprised by how the All Blacks had continued to dominate the world game despite losing Test veterans like Richie McCaw, Keven Mealamu, Dan Carter, Tony Woodcock, Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith.

"If you look at how seamlessly Kieran Read has taken to his role, the senior core of the team is still functioning well, and also the experience they've got," he said.

"I had to look at a new halfback combination, [Faf de Klerk and Jantjies, who have 16 caps between them]. Compare that to Beauden [Barrett] and Aaron Smith.

"Full credit to New zealand, their systems are working well. The transition from World Cup-winning team to the next has been very, very good, unlike in our case."

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