Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus said he was willing to “accept the consequences” for South Africa’s decline under his guidance.
Speaking after the horror show that was their 18-23 loss to Australia at the weekend – especially the second half in Brisbane.
It followed the equally dismal performance against Argentina in Mendoza a fortnight ago.
“We have a country that is ruthless in terms of results,” Erasmus said in his post-match media briefing.
Erasmus admitted the coaching staff must take as much of the blame as the players.
“I have to look at myself and start taking the consequences for that [performance], whatever that may be,” he said, adding: “We selected this team to beat the opposition.
“It hurts and whatever the consequences, I must take it.”
The Bok coach spoke of the litany of errors – including two soft tries gifted to the opposition – as a problem area.
“The last few minutes, with all the mistakes we made, we could still have won the game.
“People don’t want to hear that and I am the first one to say, don’t take positives out of defeats.
“I must credit them for their effort at the end, but then we must also look at ourselves for the execution.
“If you are a South African fan or coach, it is not good enough.”
He admitted it was “not a great start” in Brisbane.
“[When] you give [away] seven points in the first three-four minutes, it is not a great start. The frustration was, apart from that [first] seven-pointer, the line-out overthrow [that resulted in another soft try].
“To gift 14 points on a platter to a team, you’re [always] going to struggle to win the game,” said Erasmus after the Wallabies took advantage of early Springbok mistakes to score two first-half tries.
“I thought our mauling went very well compared to the previous weekend [against Argentina], the scrums were good in the first half, but then there were moments when we lost vital scrums and line-outs – so it was a mixed bag of different mistakes.
“We could have put them away this game if we didn’t play stupid rugby at stages.
“We had to chase back 14 points and in the second half, the pressure got to some guys.
“They will have to learn to handle that and I include myself in that.”
Erasmus admitted that, in certain aspects, his team is not improving.
“We will have a hard look at ourselves and whatever we have to do to rectify it, we will do,” he said.
“It was errors in many aspects. It was just mistake, after mistake.
“If there was a specific area I could pinpoint, it would be easier,” he said, adding that the team review will be revealing.