BRISBANE, Australia // John Smit, the South Africa captain, lamented his side's discipline lapses in the defeat to Australia, saying the Springboks only had themselves to blame for the disastrous start to their Tri Nations campaign. Outside centre Jaque Fourie's second-minute yellow card for a lifting tackle left the Springboks with 14 men in the early minutes for the third consecutive Tri Nations match. Prop BJ Botha followed suit shortly after the break for holding up play.
Smit brushed off the suggestion that referees had played any part in the loss at Lang Park. "I find it pretty hard to answer that question because we haven't really played our game yet ... We've got ourselves to blame for three weeks," Smit told reporters. "We're not on the money really on anything really. We're going to have dig deep, work hard and make sure we can actually put some rugby together before we assess [whether] we're in the right direction.
The Springboks conceded a raft of penalties which left them trailing 17-3 at halftime, a deficit from which they never recovered. "[Tackling's] probably been the poorest facet our last three weeks. And we're very realistic, how poor, how average we've been," Smit said. "We'll be the first to say that we've been poor, the defence has been poor, the breakdown's been poor." * Reuters