'Soft moments' cost us game against New Zealand - Siya Kolisi

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi
South Africa captain Siya Kolisi

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi blamed his side's 'soft moments' for the 30-32 defeat against New Zealand in the final round of the Rugby Championship in Pretoria.

The home side had a terrific 17 point lead over All Blacks at the end of the third quarter and had a massive opportunity to complete a rare double over the World Champions having earlier edged them out 34-36 in Wellington.

However, they let things slip when Reiko Ioane crossed over in the 62nd minute while further tries from Scott Barrett and Ardie Savea along with a double conversion from Richie Mo'unga proved enough for the All Blacks, who went on to register a 30-32 win.

“For 70 minutes we did a lot of things right, but we had some soft moments and against the number one team in the world you can’t afford to do that,” said Kolisi.

“That’s probably where we lost it. I don’t think we deserved to lose but they really stuck to their game and perhaps we switched off for a split second.”

Meanwhile, head coach Erasmus was pleased with the outcome from the Rugby Championship despite a thrilling defeat to New Zealand in the final round.

There were a lot of hopes pinned on Erasmus when he took in charge of the side earlier this year as he led them to a 2-1 series win at home against England but defeats against Argentina and Australia in the earlier rounds of the Rugby Championship sparked criticism.

Nevertheless, the 46-year-old responded well as they went on to beat New Zealand 34-36 in Wellington and came close to secure another win over Steve Hansen's men in Pretoria.

“I’m definitely happy with the progress and the growth we have shown,” Erasmus said.

“South African rugby fans are not stupid and there will be criticism of this defeat, but we have shown growth and we will cling on to that.

“The last three games between us have been decided by no more than two points and when we run out against them now, the game can go either way. I’m proud we’ve got back to that position.

“It gives me hope that and belief that if we do a few things right we will be in with a real chance at the next year’s World Cup.”


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