Sunday 13 October 2019

Meyer bemoans yellow card

David Kelly

David Kelly

South African coach Heyneke Meyer bemoaned the late yellow card for replacement hooker as Ireland scored their first victory in three attempts against the Springboks.

However, he didn't use the second-half binning as an excuse, instead hailing a quality Ireland side who were led from the front by Jonathan Sexton.

"We're obviously disappointed," he said. "I always said Ireland are a quality side, they're good i defence and in set phases. We struggled to adapt to the conditions. They were tactically astute and we made too many mistakes.

"We weren't good enough tonight. I'm not surprised we performed so poorly. We didn't get quick ball and against a rush defence, that's important game.

"We dominated scrum and lineout and the maul started working late on but the yellow card came at a tough time and they started kicking behind us.

"We had opportunities in the first-half but we made too many mistakes with the ball. Things were on but knowing their defence, you're not going to beat them with only three or four phases.

"There was a lack of concentration from us tonight. We've played in wet conditions before and it's my job to fix this now.

"We're not making an excuse for the yellow card, you have to be careful and the referee is always right. "Every single loss definitely hurts. In a sense, I'd rather know what's going to happen in the World Cup. We need to adapt to a few things ahead of the World Cup. This is going to be a tough tour and we need to look in the mirror.

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"We played a world-class team today and we always had a chance to come back but away from home, losing your hooker, it wasn't a good time for us.

"Jonny Sexton is a quality tactician and we didn't manage to adapt the game in the same way. We needed to take our chances.

"Sometimes you need to go back to basics, kick a bit more tactically and turn them around a bit more in these conditions. It's great to play ball but you need to adapt. Although we've evolved our game, it's usually an arm-wrestle and we didn't win that battle tonight."

Captain and former Munster centre Jean De Villiers claimed that the players needed to assume the blame for an error-ridden display, despite dominating at the set-piece.

"We need to take the game in its entirety," said the 33-year-old. "We did our set-pieces well but we couldn't hold onto the ball. We couldn't catch and pass and that's nothing to do with coaching. We didn't play badly, just too many mistakes.

"Credit to Ireland. They took their chances and didn't make as many mistakes. It's definitely a step back for us.

"As players, we weren't good enough for the Springbok jersey. We fell below the standards we expect for ourselves. But Ireland played well and they prepared very well for us.

"We had chances to kick penalties in the first-half but we scored seven points of a maul so it wasn't a big deal for us."

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