Coetzee lauds resilient Springboks after series comeback


South Africa coach Allister Coetzee heaped praise on the Springboks after they fought back to clinch their three-Test series against Ireland on Saturday.

The Springboks claimed a dramatic 19-13 win over Ireland to seal a 2-1 series victory in Port Elizabeth.

South Africa had been forced to play catch up following their opening-game loss in Cape Town, rallying from a 19-3 half-time deficit to level the series thanks to a stunning 32-26 win last week.

And the Springboks were at it again at Mandela Bay Stadium as Ireland surrendered a 10-3 lead to the resilient South Africans.

"We started the series with a loss and we were 19-3 down in Johannesburg. And here today we were really put to the test, so I am very pleased in the result and series win," Coetzee said.

"The resilience and character of the team really came through. We fought in the trenches and played Test rugby out there today. It was not attractive, but we needed to win."

Coetzee added: "The attitude cannot be faulted. The performance of senior players was great. What was also pleasing was the way the new players adapted to Test match rugby. There are many instinctive players in the team, but they learned valuable lessons from the step up to Test rugby.

"This is all part of the building process for this team and the foundation looks solid.

"We are busy creating a new culture that must develop and bear fruit over four years. It was rewarding and pleasing that new guys got the opportunity and each and every player took ownership of his position and delivered. The guys need to continue playing well for the remainder of the Vodacom Super Rugby. I will keep on rewarding form."