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Rugby Allister Coetzee rues errors against New Zealand

"Soft moments" cost South Africa dear in their Rugby Championship thrashing at the hands of New Zealand, says Allister Coetzee.

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Allister Coetzee was left to rue South Africa's fundamental mistakes as they fell to a damaging defeat against New Zealand on Saturday.

After taking an early lead through Bryan Habana in Christchurch, the Springboks handed back the initiative immediately, Elton Jantjies dropping the kick-off which led to Israel Dagg's try.

The All Blacks never looked back from there, running in five more tries in a resounding 41-13 triumph, with their Rugby Championship title confirmed following Australia's 36-20 win over Argentina in Perth.

Although Coetzee was pleased with some elements of their play after they reached the interval only 15-10 in arrears, he lamented the "soft moments" which were capitalised upon by their ruthless opponents as the Springboks fell to a third straight loss.

"The amount of basic errors we've made, from our point of view, is very, very disappointing," he said.

"There are a lot of positives, in the first half with ball in hand we applied a lot of pressure and scored a great try. And after kick-off we let New Zealand in and those are the soft moments, the basic mistakes that cost us.

"They capitalised and that's the difference between the two sides at this point. On defence we need a lot of work still. There's things that we can fix and I'm still positive about the team going forward.

"I'd love to answer [why the mistakes were made], maybe some players are not ready for this level yet and I'll have to make some tough decisions going back home and fortunately we'll get one or two experienced players back.

"But there shouldn't be a knee-jerk reaction and it's tough to lose but players don't make the mistakes deliberately.

"For a lot of them it's the first time playing in New Zealand against a brilliant All Blacks side but that's international rugby, players have to adapt quickly."

Despite his obvious disappointment, Coetzee was quick to praise the All Blacks and the way they have coped with losing key personnel following last year's World Cup triumph.

"All credit to New Zealand and their system, they're working well and their transition from a World Cup-winning side to the next has been really good, unlike in our case," he said.

"If you look at the system in terms of Steve [Hansen] being the assistant coach for a number of years then head coach, hats off to the organisation, they're really doing a good job."

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