What a great test match we witness at Loftus on Saturday, a classic in all sense of the word.
But even though we could praise the Springboks for the way they played in 72 minutes of that test the harsh reality is that there was a few things that cost us the game.
In Wellington we should not have won the game but we did, in Pretoria we should have won the game but we did not.
We know by know that Jacques Nienaber defensive system with the Springboks is good enough to stand up against the best. It is certainly not 100% otherwise we would not have conceded 4 tries against us.
One of the biggest disappointments for Erasmus Springboks so far has been the lost opportunities in every single test we played so far.
The All Blacks showed in Pretoria their class to score from the little opportunities they got and won the game. That is what separated them for so long against any other team in the world.
The decision making of players are also not yet there. We had again some poor option taking from Kolisi and De Allende in the first half with kicks that just was not on.
It is one thing for Kolisi to pop up in the backline to create space for runners or create an overlap but then he needs to be much better in the execution.
Would also wanted to see Pollard getting more ball as first receiver to attack the line, the few times that he did get it he made good ground and put the Springboks on the front foot.
The set pieces was also not good enough on the night and I still stand by my opinion that Malherbe should not start.
Our lineouts started shaky but did become better as the game came on.
We were much better on the ground than in the Wellington test and against the Aussies in PE but again I still would like to see a fetcher in the side specially when we go up north in November.
There are so much similarity between the Wellington test and this one with the stats and scoreboard making a 180.
The Springboks made more carriers – 384 against 219, more carriers – 115 against 68, more clean breaks – 7 against 4, tackle less – 70 against 115, missed less tackle – 14 against 25 but lost on the scoreboard.
There was some players that stand out on the night for me and I have to start with Faf De Klerk.
He has been hammered on his box-kicks and he was spot on, on the night. His service, general play and again his defence was brilliant.
Pollard has also grown into being our number one flyhalf. His kicking game has improve a hell of a lot and his goal kicking speaks for itself.
Willie Le Roux in his 50th test has also step up from last week and was his old brilliant self in the test. He is worth gold for the Springboks on attack and his reading of the game is above any other in this team.
Thought Flo had a good game, nothing flashy but good at number eight but we are surely missing the likes of Whiteley or a Vermeulen who will hopefully be back in November.
It seems it is Rassie Erasmus game plan for his midfield to run the crash ball for a quick phase but it did not work enough. We are still missing a center who can create space for the offload.
The Springboks kicking game was as the best we have seen all year with pressure being put on the kick which force a few mistakes again by the All Blacks.
Closing out big games are as important than starting well and the Springboks were terrible in closing out the game. Silly penalties at the end cost them big time and it is never an good idea to get defensive with a few minutes to go, specially against the class of the All Blacks.
Like the All Blacks lost the Wellington test more than we had won it the same can be said that the Springboks lost this one rather than the All Blacks winning it.
It is a hard lesson to learn and a sad one for the supporters but a lesson that we should not make again.
Lastly I need to say that the replacements Erasmus send on int the final minutes was not very smart. It reminded me of Snorre almost costing us the 2009 test against the British and Irish Lions in Durban.
Against the All Blacks there is never enough points on the board to take changes with silly replacements.
Here is what Rassie had to say after the test
What Hansen had to say after the test