Durban - The South African public needs to exercise patience and give Allister Coetzee and the Springboks time to gel.
That is the view of All Black coach Steve Hansen, who witnessed his side annihilate the Boks 57-15 in Durban on Saturday night.
The difference in quality between the side's was crystal clear and the Boks now have a 4 from 9 record under their new coach, but Hansen urged the public not to be too critical too soon.
"I think they’re a good side. There are really good players and I think Allister is a good coach," Hansen said of the Boks.
"I just think it’s a difficult competition at the moment. We’ve managed to play well and put other teams under pressure whereas the rest of the competition is really tight. It’s difficult."
Hansen drew on the abuse Wallaby coach Michael Cheika received at the start of the Rugby Championship to illustrate his point.
"Everyone did it to the Australians when we played them in the first two games," Hansen said.
"People came out and said some atrocious things, that they were a poor side and the worst team in history ... they’re not. They’re a really good side. And I think South Africa are the same."
Hansen had no doubt that the Boks would show improvement under Coetzee.
"I think you’ve just got to give them time. They’re a new coaching management and they’ve lost some players; some real experience,:" he said.
"It’s always difficult to replace that.
"I think there is potential there for them to be a very good side if people can just be patient and give them the opportunity to do that."