Springboks coach Allister Coetzee insists he won’t punish his players for one bad performance against the All Blacks and said the record loss will not define the team.
The South African side is under siege following their 57-0 defeat to New Zealand in Albany, the worst in the country’s 126-year Test history.
But a defiant Coetzee said the Springboks won’t “hang themselves” based on what happened against the world champions.
“I want to say it up front that the Albany game doesn’t define this team,” Coetzee told reporters.
“It was one game where we were definitely poor… I’ll never sweep that under the carpet.
“The players already know it was sub-standard but again, we won five out of seven matches and in those wins, we were outstanding.
“The All Blacks showed why they were the number one team in the world. On the night they were unbelievable and it worked out for them.
“We needed the perfect storm and the ball bounced perfectly for them on the night.”
A fierce response is expected from the Springboks in Sunday morning’s (AEST) Rugby Championship clash against the Wallabies in Bloemfontein.
Coetzee is unlikely to make wholesale changes when he names his team on Thursday, despite several of his players copping heavy criticism.
Winger Raymond Rhule has borne the brunt of it after missing nine tackles against the All Blacks – but Coetzee indicated he is likely to retain his position and pointed to his performance in the 23-23 draw against the Wallabies in Perth as proof of what he is capable of.
“Don’t forget how good Raymond was against Australia,” he said.
“I’m not a coach who will look at one poor performance and chuck someone away. He was outstanding against the Wallabies.
“He was the first guy to text me and say ‘I watched the game again and I could have been better here or there’.
“In the seven tests Raymond has played, he has gained a lot of experience, so now do I just throw him out and start all over again with a new player?”