Australia were able to secure a 30-17 victory in Rugby Championship action Saturday evening. Fresh off the loss, South Africa flyhalf Handre Pollard was quick to issue a stern rebuke to a reporter who questioned the team’s attitude on defence.
Following the match, South Africa came in for some heavy criticism among their fans and certain pundits, especially in regards to their defence as a whole.
Head coach Jacques Nienaber even went as far as to label it one of the worst matches he’s seen from his side in recent years. He said: “It’s probably the worst performance I’ve seen since 2018, when we lost against Argentina in Mendoza.”
Obviously, frustrations boil over when expected standards are not met.
This happened as Handre Pollard and Vincent Koch were answering questions following Saturday’s defeat. A certain reporter pulled no punches, calling the team’s character into question.
“Defence is an attitude thing and there were a lot of one-on-one missed tackles… is there something missing in this team?
“It’s almost like the attitude’s not there. Is there something wrong with this team?” he said.
Pollard also went on record to decry what he thought were “street smart” tactics from Australia.
“They are very street smart… They definitely train it and the referees don’t see everything. If they pick it up now and then, great. We do prep the refs on that as well.
“It’s very difficult to see a lot of stuff off the ball with the refs focusing on the ball and breakdown. They’re good at it. They do it very well and they get away with it 90 percent of the time.”
South Africa have the All Blacks up next and will need to be playing at their best if they want to get back to their winning ways. It will be the 100th Test match between the two countries.