Jacques Nienaber hails Springbok maul despite loss to Wallabies
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CAPE TOWN - Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber highlighted their driving maul as one of the positives in their 26-28 Rugby Championship defeat to Australia in Gold Coast on Sunday.
The Boks produced a subpar performance Down Under, continuing their woeful record in Australia, where they haven’t won a Test since 2013.
The Boks struggled to gain dominance in most areas, but their maul was the exception as they scored three tries from the set-piece – one through Bongi Mbonambi and a brace by Malcolm Marx.
Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper kicked 23 points - seven penalties and one conversion – but his most memorable moment came when he connected the winning penalty in the 82nd minute in his first appearance for Australia in four years.
It was far from an ideal performance from the world champions as they conceded 11 penalties and missed 21 tackles but, speaking after the game, Nienaber said that there were some positives from the disappointing outing.
“I thought our mauls were good, we scored three maul tries, so that was good. I thought our game management in the first 20 minutes was good and we created a lot of opportunities in the first half. I thought our lineout contesting was also good, so I think our set-pieces were fairly solid.
“Yes, we did concede one penalty in the first half at our exit scrum and they got points off that and we also conceded a penalty in the 82nd minute, which they also got points from, so we got some good reward from our set-piece, but we also conceded at crucial times at our set-piece. I think our kicking game was also solid. There were a couple of errors in terms of that, but it was solid.
“I’ll probably have a more insightful view on the game tomorrow after I’ve watched it again. I’m probably emotional now and I probably have a high view of what happened. But we scored three tries to one and they got 23 points off the tee, and that’s the reason why we lost the game.”
The Springboks will meet the Wallabies at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday before taking on the All Blacks in back-to-back matches on Saturday, 25 September in Townsville, and Saturday, 2 October in Gold Coast.