‘Nothing wrong with our game plan’ – Coetzee

Date published: November 14 2016

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07:  South Africa head coach Allister Coetzee keeps an eye on the session during a South Africa training session at The Latymer Upper School playing fields on November 7, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee says there is nothing wrong with the Springbok game plan.

Coetzee also said things would not simply improve if he rung the changes ahead of the clash with Italy, at a press conference on Monday

Despite the 37-21 loss to England, Coetzee was adamant there were positives to take from the game.

“We (the coaching staff) have analysed the game and are disappointed that the team couldn’t maintain their performance in the first 30 minutes. England didn’t look dangerous during that period,” Coetzee said.

“But we made one mistake and the game changed. We had another soft moment and England scored their second try. It’s debatable whether or not it should have been given, but an unforced error placed us in that position.”

To illustrate that his team was making progress, Coetzee referred to the good positions the Boks found themselves in.

“We had six attacking lineouts in difficult weather conditions,” he said. “During the Rugby Championship most of them were in our own half. It shows there is improvement in the execution of our plan.”

Coetzee also praised the work-rate of his loose trio, especially Willem Alberts who played in the unfamiliar position of openside flank.

“Willem played for 80 minutes against England and made 25 tackles. He was the players Man of the Match. The loose trio’s work rate was generally very good.”

Eben Etzebeth has already been ruled out of the Italy Test with concussion, but Coetzee is not planning on making substantial changes to the team for Saturday’s game.

“You can make wholesale changes and simply create a situation where the other players make the same mistakes. This isn’t the first time I have endured difficult times. You have to handle it the right way.”

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