World champions South Africa were booed off the field on Saturday after losing 27-15 to Australia in their Tri-Nations Test.
The loss was the world champions’ fourth in five Tri-nations matches and ensured they are out of contention for the title with two rounds remaining.
Springbok captain Victor Matfield told a news conference the crowd reaction was understandable after his side made too many mistakes.
“The booing was perfectly understandable because we are the world champions and we cannot afford to lose two in a row. It’s unacceptable to play like that,” Matfield said.
“It was all about execution because the chances were there but we cannot make mistakes like we did today, it’s unacceptable for any international player. It was not good enough and unfortunately those mistakes killed us,” Matfield said.
News 24 reports that coach Peter de Villiers asked the South Africa fans to be patient.
‘Every right to be unhappy’
“It’s not nice being booed, but the crowd is unhappy, rightfully so, they have every right to be unhappy,” he said.
“They want to back a winning side, but we never go out there to lose on purpose and it’s a new playing style I’m trying to get out there. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I ask the people to be patient, to give us more time,” De Villiers said.
Australian coach Robbie Deans praised his players for putting to an end an eight-year losing streak in South Africa.
“You’ve got to be happy with that. The performance was by no means error-free, but it was never going to be with South Africa such a desperate team. But the intensity was there, the boys got up and did what had to be done, the hard way. They gutsed it out, it was not straightforward, and I’m very happy with the composure,” Deans said.
Deans said the amount of time the Wallabies invested in physical preparation for the match had paid off.
“The boys got up and met the physicality of the Springboks, they did huge work and it was a good effort,” he said.
Deans said centre Berrick Barnes and lock Dan Vickerman were unlikely to play in the return fixture in Johannesburg next week due to shoulder injuries.
“We’ve done a couple of shoulders, Berrick Barnes and Dan Vickerman, and that’s likely to impact on next week. They’re unlikely to be available and we’ll definitely contemplate bringing someone over,” Deans said.Tweet