Home RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP 2018 Marx: Boks deserved the win

Marx: Boks deserved the win

South Africa's Malcolm Marx is tackled by New Zealand's Kieran Read, left, and Owen Franks during a rugby championship test match between South Africa and New Zealand in Wellington, New Zealand, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/John Cowpland)

Malcolm Marx says he would happily trade his Man of the Match award for what he believed would have been a deserved win for the Springboks on Saturday, writes CRAIG LEWIS in Pretoria for SARugbyMag

When fronting up to the media following the Boks’ heartbreaking two-point defeat to New Zealand at Loftus, Marx looked utterly gutted.

In a war of attrition over 80 minutes, the Boks more than matched the All Blacks blow for blow. In fact, for most of the encounter, they looked certain to claim another famous victory.

Instead, a sloppy final quarter enabled the All Blacks to overturn a 17-point deficit and claim a remarkable comeback victory to end the Rugby Championship on a high.

Marx, who wore a grim expression throughout the press conference, admitted it was hard to put into words the disappointment that the team was feeling.

‘This is a very bitter pill to swallow, but we will have to deal with it. A couple of brain fades just cost us in the end,’ he stated bluntly.

Although Marx enjoyed a solid outing in another physical showing from the Boks, he was a somewhat surprise selection as Man of the Match. When asked about that accolade, it was clear that it served as scant solace after the disappointment of the defeat.

‘To be honest, I felt we should have won that game. The Man of the Match is one thing, but I would happily have given it away [for a win].’

Saturday’s result saw the All Blacks finish the Rugby Championship 10 points clear of the Springboks at the summit of the standings, although just two points separated the two teams on the scoreboard in both match-ups this season.

Marx said the All Blacks had ultimately provided another lesson in how to close out a game, which the Boks would need to learn from.

‘We had a 12-point lead with four minutes to go, and still couldn’t get the win. Again, the All Blacks showed why they are the No 1 team in the world.

‘For us, there were just one or two moments where we switched off, and that’s something that we will need to review and rectify.’

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  1. There is no such thing as deserving a win. Otherwise we could also argue NZ deserved Wellington win, we just got lucky. Both statements untrue.

    NZ won, we played better for longer periods but they found the extra gas when needed. It is really disappointing to lose like this. I really thought we had. Well done NZ

  2. @Aldo: Agree – no “deserving” or “rub of the green”. Fact: our benvh were bunch of laaities against beast Savea-type bench of ABs. And inexperienced Willemse and Kolbe did not cover penalty kick – basic stuff. In these games EVERY player needs to do his job

  3. 23 man 85min rugby… does not work when you’re carrying players. This reminded me totally of the many ‘close’ wins in NZ that JW endured. That said Rassie was hond-kak with those subs considering this was the last test for some time.

  4. @bryce_in_oz: he had no choice but to make those subs. Le Roux went off for HIA which he failed. De Klerk started cramping, Louw same as de klerk. Rassie’s fault though that those players haven’t built up experience with regular game time. Ultimately you need 23 players not 15

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