Sept 25 (Reuters) - Winger Raymond Ruhle is not likely be dropped by South Africa despite heavy criticism after an error-ridden performance against New Zealand this month, Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said on Monday.
The Ghana-born winger missed nine tackles in the record 57-0 thrashing by the All Blacks but Coetzee will keep faith with Ruhle for Saturday’s penultimate match in this year’s Rugby Championship against Australia in Bloemfontein.
“Don’t forget how good Raymond was against Australia. I’m not a coach who will look at one poor performance and chuck someone away. He was outstanding against the Wallabies,” Coetzee told a news conference.
“There were a few areas where the All Blacks targeted us, but we will work on that and get better. 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?”
Rhule had admitted his mistakes, added Coetzee of the performance in Auckland where the world champions emphatically ended a recent Springbok revival after their disastrous 2016.
“He was the first guy to text me and say ‘I watched the game again and I could have been better here or there’. The big thing is about owning up and taking responsibility, which is what I enjoy about this group of players,” Coetzee added.
Coetzee is not expected to make drastic changes when he names his team on Thursday.
“We’ve buried the Albany game, we have a turnaround strategy. We got together last night and we spoke about the Albany game as a management team,” he said.
“That was the first meeting. The second one was with the team leaders and the coaches have been together. We are disappointed and we want to turn it around and get it right.”
Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town,; Editing by Ed Osmond