15 Aug 2011

Springbok coach asks fans to keep the faith

6:00 am on 15 August 2011

The Springbok Coach Peter de Villiers admits fans have every right to feel disillusioned less than a month before South Africa launch their Rugby World Cup defence in New Zealand.

But de Villiers and captain John Smit urged fans to keep the faith despite the full-strength Boks fading to a 14-9 loss to Australia in Durban.

The defeat was South Africa's eighth in their past nine Tri Nations encounters and proved particularly tough to swallow for Smit in his 105th Test and last in front of his Kings Park home crowd.

The Boks fielded their most experienced Test side ever, but most ageing stars were playing their first games in almost two months after de Villiers rested them during the first two matches of the tournament in Australasia.

Smit was suitably concerned when the home side only led 6-nil despite dominating possession and territory in the first half.

The Springboks host the All Blacks in Port Elizabeth on Sunday and Smit says a big showing is imperative.

De Villiers was also confident the Boks could turn their fortunes around.

He confessed the fans should be disillusioned, and rightfully so.

But he believes they will bounce back from the Wallabies loss, claiming the Boks lost the game on the scoreboard only.