Handre Pollard finds silver lining in Springboks’ defeat to All Blacks
Handre Pollard searched for a silver lining in the wake of the Springboks’ defeat to the All Blacks and he found one.
Asked if they can bounce back and become the first team to win the Rugby World Cup (RWC) after suffering a defeat in the pool stages‚ Pollard was upbeat following their 23-13 defeat.
"Four years ago we were worse off than where we are now‚” he said in reference to the Springboks’ defeat to Japan at the last RWC.
“We will take that experience and implement that this week. We’ll chat about it.
"The equation is simple now. There are no excuses. We now need to go and win six out of six.”
The Boks held more than their own for the bulk of the match but a high penalty count undermined all the hard yards they made in certain areas.
Pollard believed that his team was not far off the pace in an absorbing match played in front of more than 63 000 people.
“We were five percent off our game and we lost. That’s how it is‚” he said shrugging his shoulders.
“They had a five-minute span in which they scored 14 points. That put us on the back foot.
“We can’t get negative now. We showed fight to get within four points to win the game. It is about small margins at the World Cup. We will keep on fighting‚ ” he vowed.
He was particularly upbeat about the manner in which they got the All Blacks scrambling.
“We created opportunities‚" he said.
"We made 22 entries despite not being accurate. We should have converted that into something… three points.”
A punishing 11-2 penalty count against them frustrated the Boks.
“It is going to be tough to get territory‚ tough to get opportunities‚" he said.
"It is what it is. We will have a look at it. It is going to be a big thing going forward. We have to improve on that.”
He believes the team’s performance was good enough for the result not to adversely affect their confidence.
“It is painful‚" he said.
"It is not nice. It is never nice losing in the Springbok jersey. We will reflect in the next 24 hours and get over it by Monday and be ready for next week.”