Rugby Championship

Coach Nienaber laments poor Springbok discipline: 'We were off our game'

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Siya Kolisi (Gallo)
Siya Kolisi (Gallo)
  • Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has criticised his side's ill-discipline following their loss to Australia on Sunday. 
  • The Boks went down 28-26, with Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper kicking 23 points. 
  • Skipper Siya Kolisi was one of two Boks yellow-carded.

The Springboks were far from their best in Sunday's 28-26 Rugby Championship loss to Australia on the Gold Coast, and head coach Jacques Nienaber has lamented his side's ill-discipline. 

The Boks struggled for dominance in most areas - their effective rolling maul was an exception - and they received two yellow cards with Siya Kolisi and Willie le Roux both sin-binned after committing professional fouls. 

Australian flyhalf Quade Cooper, making his first international appearance in over four years, kicked 23 points for the Wallabies - seven penalties and one conversion - and his final contribution on an unforgettable day came well after the full-time hooter when he kicked them to a famous win. 

Speaking after the match, Nienaber was clear in assessing where it went wrong for the Boks. 

"We scored three tries to one, but we gave them 23 points off the tee. That's the reason we lost," he said. 

"I thought we did brilliantly to get back into the game after they had built up a lead, and we lost it in the 82nd minute.

"Again, it was discipline. We lost it because we conceded a penalty.

"I thought Australia played well, and they deserved the win."

Nienaber acknowledged that his Boks were from their best. 

"I don't think we were great today, and when I say that, I don't want to take anything away from Australia," said Nienaber.

"I just thought we were a bit off our game, and especially from a discipline point of view.

"We created opportunities, but I don't think it was a polished performance. We will have to fix those things and especially our discipline."

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi agreed with his coach. 

"We trained hard this week, and I thought we prepared well," said Kolisi. 

"As Jacques said, our discipline wasn't up to standard, and Australia took their opportunities.

"I thought they played well, and this is a hard place to come. I certainly wouldn't blame it on not being prepared; it was just that we could not implement what we wanted to on the day.

"Their plan worked better than ours in certain places."

The Boks are now five points off the All Blacks at the halfway stage of the Rugby Championship, and Saturday's clash against the Wallabies is now a must-win if they are to keep their title hopes alive.

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