14 November 2017

South Africa: Coetzee's Northern Hemisphere Lessons

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has never won a Test match in the northern hemisphere.

Saturday's 38-3 loss to Ireland in Dublin was the latest blemish on his record, adding to 2016's end-of-year tour where the Boks went down to England, Italy and Wales.

READ: Woeful Boks stay 5th in rankings

The result means that pressure on Coetzee has heightened once more, and he has had to spend a lot of time explaining the current situation to both media as well as SA Rugby bosses.

Addressing press in Paris on Monday ahead of this weekend's clash against France, Coetzee gave an honest account of South Africa's struggles in the northern hemisphere.

Discipline, he said, was a major concern.

"It's tough to keep on saying 'lessons', but this is reality if you look at what we're sitting with," he said.

"The challenges in northern hemisphere rugby v southern hemisphere rugby ... you go down in the first scrum and concede a penalty. Three points. Then the next penalty, you don't roll away. Three points. Then another three points. Then all of a sudden you're 9-0 behind.

"We handled four contestable kicks very well. The fifth one we couldn't control and they scored and all of a sudden in 25 minutes we were 14-0 down. 14-0 in the northern hemisphere is quite a lead."

Coetzee added that he was aware of the criticism surrounding the Boks at the moment.

"I know there are a lot of questions around: Did we have intensity? Were we flat-footed? The point is ... if you go down 14-0, it is difficult," he said.

"We were ill-disciplined and we didn't realise that penalties will hurt you so much. Three points in the northern hemisphere is almost like a score.

"We need to make sure we have discipline this week."

Source: Sport24

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