Ireland Fall In World Rankings After Rugby Championship Results At The Weekend

NRC Ladder 2017 round 5

"It's tough lessons that we're learning", Springboks coach Allister Coetzee said.

"Our skill execution, our physicality and our ability to play our "triple threat" game will be critical", he added, referring to the All Blacks plan to keep the opposition guessing whether they will run, pass or kick.

But they held on to finish the southern hemisphere championship with a 100 percent success rate for a second successive year.

"We knew it was just a blip in New Zealand and we knew we must just keep persevering".

The champs also came through after losing playmaker Beauden Barrett to a head knock midway through the first half, and unsafe winger Nehe Milner-Skudder to a dislocated right shoulder at the end of the half.

South Africa have made three changes with Francois Louw moving to number eight to replace the injured Uzair Cassiem and Pieter-Steph du Toit coming in on the flank where Louw played in the 27-27 draw with Australia in Bloemfontein last week. "They have a massive work ethic".

"We saw that we have to be in the right mind set when we play them, otherwise we're vulnerable".

They did, showing world champion composure to take everything a desperate South Africa could throw at them before replying late with a try by fullback Damian McKenzie and a game-clinching penalty by replacement flyhalf Lima Sopoaga. We understand what we do when we do it.

"We had them under pressure at times, but you can not give the ball away against New Zealand", Coetzee added.

'You get greater pleasure when you see people performing under pressure.

Ultimately, so many high profile fixtures between Tier One nations will have an effect on the World Rugby rankings.

Their level dropped off in the second half against the Pumas and was indicative of a season where the team has failed to sustain their performance for 80 minutes. They are a quality side when they get that roll on and momentum and it was hard for us to stem that so we'll look at how we can do that later on'. "The year is not over, we still have four matches left and will continue to seek improvement in those".

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