Record loss doesn't define Springboks: Coetzee

The Rugby Championship
by Sam Phillips

Fresh off their worst ever loss, Springboks coach Allister Coetzee isn't exactly sounding the alarm.

After building a reputation as one of world rugby's most improved outfits with five straight wins to start 2017, the Boks have been sent crashing back to earth with a 23-all draw against the Wallabies preceding a 57-0 thumping at the hands of the All Blacks.

But Coetzee won't be conceding to pressure calling for sweeping changes, backing his players ahead of the clash with the Wallabies in Bloemfontein.

"I want to say it up front that the Albany game doesn't define this team," Coetzee said.Coetzee has pointed to South Africa's five straight wins to start 2017 as proof wholesale change isn't required. Photo: Getty Images"It was one game where we were definitely poor... I'll never sweep that under the carpet.

"The players already know it was sub-standard but again, we won five out of seven matches and in those wins, we were outstanding.

"The All Blacks showed why they were the number one team in the world. On the night they were unbelievable and it worked out for them.

"We needed the perfect storm and the ball bounced perfectly for them on the night."

Malcolm Marx and Raymond Rhule are the two players that have copped the large majority of criticism in the wake of the loss to New Zealand.Raymond Rhule has copped plenty of flack for his defensive work against NZ. Photo: Getty ImagesRhule has been singled out as a defensive liability and missing nine tackles against the ABs certainly didn't help his cause.

Despite that, Coetzee said he won't "chuck someone away" based on one poor outing.

"Don't forget how good Raymond was against Australia," he said.

"I'm not a coach who will look at one poor performance and chuck someone away. He was outstanding against the Wallabies.

"He was the first guy to text me and say 'I watched the game again and I could have been better here or there'.

"In the seven Tests Raymond has played, he has gained a lot of experience, so now do I just throw him out and start all over again with a new player?"

The Wallabies face the Springboks in Bloemfontein on Sunday night, kicking off at 12am AEDT and 1am AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

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