The Springbok pack found themselves on the wrong side of the referee’s whistle early in the game during their close 27-26 loss against England at Twickenham on Saturday, while they also missed a couple of lineouts in the match.
The shaky early showing ultimately morphed into a monstrous second-half performance as the Bok pack finally clicked into gear and decimated the English forwards, but it was a good plan from the home side that disrupted the visitors in the first stanza, according to lock Lood de Jager.
“England are a good side that is well coached, so they came into the game with a good plan that unsettled us in the beginning, but I think we adapted to the situation well,” said de Jager
“We kind of picked up on what their plan was and adapted accordingly, but credit to them, they came up with good plans and I think we will be better for it the next time we play them.”
In the end, the game was decided by small margins, and it was the third time this year the Boks lost by two points or less.
Eight points were left out on the field due to missed kicks, while the tourists also had a number of try scoring opportunities that came up just short.
This included one to flank Kwagga Smith who was held up over the try-line, which now rewards the defending team as they receive a try-line drop out to clear their lines, instead of what used to be a five-metre scrum for the attacking team.
“In Test rugby it is quite small margins that decide games. I thought at times we mauled very well and got good reward, but it’s those small margins that we didn’t convert (into points),” admitted de Jager.
“We were over the line once and couldn’t dot the ball down, so we could’ve taken our chances better, as I really thought we left a lot of points out there.
“But all we can do now is learn from our mistakes and do better the next time we’re on the field.”