Springboks debutant Deon Fourie admits that “unnecessary mistakes” cost his side the win against Wales on Saturday in Bloemfontein.
Wales claimed their first victory in South Africa when they triumphed 13-12 over the Springboks thanks to a late conversion from substitute Gareth Anscombe.
Emotions got the better of new caps
Fourie became the oldest debutant for the Springboks at 35 years old. However, it was not the ideal result for the flanker on his big day. The Stormers star believes “emotions” of the new caps in the squad showed, and ill-discipline did not help their cause.
“I think there were a lot of emotions with all the guys getting their chance to play, as well as those guys getting their first caps,” he said. “Unfortunately, the result didn’t go our way but we can only look at ourselves, as we made it difficult for ourselves with the unnecessary mistakes.
“Add to that the penalty count – I think it was more than 10 – was not good enough, especially in Test rugby. And with that penalty count, you’re going to shoot yourself in the foot.
“If you give away double penalties in a row, and that happened twice tonight, that’s where the composure comes in and guys need to know you can’t do a ‘double fault’ because at Test match rugby that’s where you get punished.
“But we know what we need to fix for Saturday’s series decider in Cape Town) and what we’ll need to focus on is to be more accurate.”
Fourie was still happy to achieve his dream of becoming a Springbok despite the negative result for his side.
“I don’t feel so old now! It’s something I’ve always dreamed about and it was a huge honour, and I’m happy to have achieved it,” he said.
Full-back Warrick Gelant made his South Africa return but could not make as big of an impact as he had hoped after a strong season for the Stormers.
The playmaker believes the Springboks may have been guilty of complacency after being in a solid position to win before a late try changed everything.
“Wales were desperate and knew what the outcome meant for us, and if we got a victory what it would mean for them,” Gelant said.
“There were a lot of guys coming in from different competitions around the world and maybe that wasn’t easy … sometimes you think you’re in control and in those last 20 minutes you maybe rest on your laurels and that’s when reality kicks in.
“And then they get a quick score, then two, and then three, and then they win the game. So it’s a lesson for us that you have to go for the kill.
“Territorially, for the first 50 minutes, we were in control and Wales couldn’t get the upper hand on us, but then there were mistakes from us and they crept in and turned it around.”