South Africa coach Jacques Nienaber labelled his side’s Rugby Championship loss at the hands of Australia on Saturday the Springboks’ worst performance in more than three years.
Nienaber’s side lost 30-17 in Brisbane to slip to defeat at the hands of the Wallabies for the second weekend in a row and surrender their position as the number one team in the world to New Zealand.
The All Blacks now lead The Rugby Championship standings by 10 points from South Africa, who need a pair of bonus-point wins over the New Zealanders in their next two games to have any chance of winning the southern hemisphere title.
“It’s definitely not the worst performance of the year â€” it’s probably the worst performance since 2018 when we lost against Argentina in Mendoza,” said Nienaber.
“That is how poor this performance was. Definitely by far. Not a great performance.
“Our defence, the last time we conceded four tries in a game was against New Zealand in 2018 three years ago, so it definitely wasn’t up to standard.”
South Africa lost 32-19 against Argentina in August 2018 and finished second behind New Zealand in The Rugby Championship before rallying the following year to go on to claim the country’s third Rugby World Cup title in Japan in November 2019.
The Springboks next face an All Blacks side that has won all four of their games in the competition so far this season, but Nienaber is relishing the clash against Ian Foster’s team.
“It’s going to be a massive challenge, but the nice thing is it’s nice to play our Sanzaar teams,” he said.
“You get tested differently and for us, it is a big eye-opener in terms of that and that is how big the challenge will be against New Zealand. It’s going to be a massive challenge.”