Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport

Bok coach Nienaber on Korobeite tackle, Faf de Klerk yellow card, poor finishing

The Boks' poor record in Australia got worse on Saturday when Jacques Nienaber's team lost to the Wallabies in Adelaide.

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has steered clear of criticising two refereeing decisions that impacted his team in their 25-17 Rugby Championship defeat to the Wallabies in Adelaide on Saturday.

Both incidents happened jut before half-time with the Boks 10-3 down.

The first was when Marika Korobeite appeared to use no arms to tackle Makazole Mapimpi into touch in the corner when the Bok winger dived toward the tryline. The match officials saw nothing wrong with the tackle.

And the second incident, only minutes later, ended with Faf de Klerk being yellow carded and a penalty being awarded to the Wallabies (when the Boks were on the attack). De Klerk was adjudged to have slapped his opposite Nic White in the face, when De Klerk appeared to have a go at the ball; the officials seemingly conned by the Wallaby No 9’s antics of falling over and clutching his face.

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“The referee made a decision and we will live by it,” said Nienaber after the match. “I’m going to to stay clear of that … it is what it is.

“The yellow card came at a bad time, it’s a tough one to lose your 9, especially on defence … and they capitalised.”

On the Korobeite tackle, Nienaber said: “He’s a quality player. It showed their desperation. Credit to the Wallabies.

“We can only look at ourselves, we can only control what we do.”

‘We didn’t convert’

Nienaber further lamented the Boks’ poor finishing. The visitors to Australia created several try-scoring chances in a match they dominated in many areas and for long periods, but managed to score only a penalty in 75 minutes and two late converted tries by Kwagga Smith.

“It was about 13 times today we were in their 22m area and most times wee didn’t come away with points. It was the same against Wales earlier this season and the All Blacks two weeks ago,” said Nienaber.

“We didn’t capitalise, we didn’t convert and that was frustrating today.”

Asked why the Boks were making such slow starts — they went 10-0 down inside eight minutes, while they also fell behind early against the All Blacks at Ellis Park two weeks ago — Nienaber was stumped.

“You can’t plan for a good start, but you can start with intensity. I don’t know why that happened today,” said Nienaber.

“I’m also not 100 percent sure why we leaked three tries today.

“The good thing is in seven days we get another opportunity.”

Siya Kolisi agreed with his coach the Boks simply weren’t able to finish off, which was ultimately the difference between the teams.

“They took the opportunities they created, and we didn’t. We could have been more clinical, but their defence was good. We’ll have a good look, and come back next week.”

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