CAPE TOWN, Oct 7 (Reuters) - South Africa came agonisingly close to redeeming themselves after a record defeat last month but again paid the price for costly errors as New Zealand edged them 25-24 in a thrilling Rugby Championship encounter at Newlands on Saturday.
“We’re disappointed with the result. When you turn over the ball, a side like the All Blacks are always going to hurt you,” said Springboks’ coach Allister Coetzee after a classic, see-saw clash left the outcome in doubt right up to the final whistle.
“At the same time, we’re proud of the process. The way the players have trained this past week, the way we’ve committed to one another has come through in this performance.
“It shows me the process is on track and that this team is a good side.”
South Africa certainly restored some pride after being beaten by a record 57-0 in New Zealand last month.
“What happened in Albany was a blip. A lot happened in the build up to that game, and I don’t want to say too much otherwise it will sound like excuses but we lost players to injuries and then Ross Cronje pulled out late,” Coetzee said.
He now turns his focus to a tour of Europe with tests against Ireland, France, Italy and Wales. Last year, it proved calamitous but Coetzee insisted supporters must still be patient.
“People want to measure us by results. We’re still focused on the process, though,” he said. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ian Chadband)