Boks coach de­fi­ant

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

CAPE TOWN — Spring­bok coach Al­lis­ter Coet­zee ( pic­tured) has sug­gested that there will not be whole­sale changes to his start­ing lineup for the sec­ond Test against Ire­land in Jo­han­nes­burg this Satur­day.

The Boks went down 26-20 to the Ir­ish at New­lands last Satur­day, but what made mat­ters worse is that they spent close to an hour with a nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tage af­ter CJ Stander was sent off for the vis­i­tors.

All over the park there were per­for­mances that raised eye­brows.

Wil­lie le Roux strug­gled, Lionel Mapoe hardly touched the ball, Damian de Al­lende showed that he is still far from his best, Duane Ver­meulen dis­ap­peared, Lood de Jager was sur­pris­ingly soft in con­tact while Frans Mal­herbe was a walk­ing penalty.

Off the bench, though, there were a cou­ple of per­for­mances that did pro­vide some en­cour­age­ment.

Pi­eter-steph du Toit showed his ath­leti­cism for his in­ter­cept try while War­ren White­ley was full of en­ergy and looked well up for it de­spite play­ing at flank.

It is hard to read too much into the per­for­mances of those two play­ers given their limited time on the pitch, but they did at least dis­play an in­ten­sity that was per­haps lack­ing from the rest of the Bok pack.

For that rea­son alone it may be tempt­ing for Coet­zee to make some changes ahead of what has be­come a must-win sec­ond Test, but the sug­ges­tion af­ter the dis­as­ter at New­lands was that he would show faith in the men who be­came the first Spring­bok team to lose at home to Ire­land.

“I’m pleased with the re­serves that made an im­pact, that is why they’re there,” Coet­zee said of his first match in charge as Boks coach.

“But I al­ways be­lieve you give play­ers an op­por­tu­nity to re­deem them­selves, they’re all dis­ap­pointed.

“They all want the op­por­tu­nity to fix it … there is no rea­son to panic. The only panic we have is to get it right next time and the play­ers un­der­stand that … they’re re­ally hurt­ing.”

Coet­zee was back­ing his charges to get it right in Jo­han­nes­burg.

“We didn’t only dis­ap­point our­selves only but we dis­ap­pointed South Africa be­cause this team had all the back­ing and sup­port … that car­ries and ex­tra load and in­spires us to get it back on track quickly,” he said.

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