Former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers believes South African Rugby has reached a lower point than last year after the humiliating 57-0 drubbing at the hands of the All Blacks in Albany on Saturday.
Much was made of a Springbok resurgence after five wins in a row and a draw against the Wallabies last weekend. This, after their 2016 annus horribilis.
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But all of that came crashing down to earth as they lost to the All Blacks by the biggest margin in their history. Just when people thought it couldn’t get any worse than 2016, it did.
“We all thought last year losing to New Zealand by 42 points was a low point and we didn’t think it could get worse. It did today. It is very difficult to find something positive to say about this game,” De Villiers told SuperSport.
“We need to be honest with ourselves, we got outplayed in every single department of this game and were beaten by a much better team.”
Meanwhile, former coach Nick Mallett almost felt sorry for the Boks, who were completely out of their depth against the World Champions.
“Criticising this Bok team is like clubbing a baby seal. The poor guys are defenceless,” Mallett said. “The scrums were a shambles in the second half, the lineouts didn’t go well in the first half. The replacements didn’t make an impact. The scramble defence was nowhere. The first-up defence got worse and worse as the game progressed.
“There isn’t enough leadership in this team at the moment and certainly not enough skills. Not one Springbok would make the All Blacks side.”
The Boks will need to regroup for their next fixture, a home clash in Bloemfontein against Australia on September 30.