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Boks limp home winless

Getty Images     25 Jul 2010     Getty Images

The South Africans were rocked by ill-discipline and for the third week in a row they spent time defending without their full complement of men, much to the chagrin of skipper John Smit, who placed responsibility for the loss fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the playing group.

"I think we just have to be honest with ourselves.

"It's hard when you're asked about the type of game we have to play and it's hard to answer because we haven't played our game yet.

"We've got ourselves to blame for all three weeks, so we're not on the money really."

"It wasn't an ideal situation [losing outside-centre Jaque Fourie in the third minute].

"I just couldn't believe it happened again for the third week in a row; it can't keep happening surely; it's hard to play with 14 men at this level.

"You can see the pace of the Tri Nations is fantastic when you're a man down you have to cover a lot more ground and it doesn't hurt you really 10 minutes it hurts you in the 40 or 50 that finish the game," he said in a frank post-match media address.

Earlier in the week, Peter de Villiers had sensationally suggested the referees had been against his side in a conspiracy that wanted next year's World Cup host to be successful in the tournament lead-up.

The comments led Foxsports' Brendan Cannon to call de Villiers a 'clown' and a 'muppet' in a tongue-lashing he was later forced by Sanzar to apologise for.

Cannon wasted no time in resuming the duel post-match and he almost immediately turned up the heat, on the South African coach by asking if he felt he was the right man to lead the Boks into the World-Cup.

"For that you must ask my boss," de Villier replied.

The hope for the South African side remains that its dominant hold on home soil, and an
extended break, will see it ready and raring to repel the Aussies and Kiwis in a few weeks time.

Coach de Villiers was optimistic enough to speak of recognisable positives in South Africa's first three games, but Smit was more realistic about the improvements needed by the Springbok side.

"We're very realistic about how poor, how average we've been in most areas in the last three weeks.

"As apparent as it is to you, it hits us even more so; so we're very aware of the work that we have to do over the next weeks before we can get the next chance to rectify those assets.

"We've got a hell of a lot to work on." said Smit.

De Villiers took a sunnier outlook: "We did some good plays, but we didn't capitalise on that. And then the Wallabies were quite sound on that, hard on the ball and I think all credit to them."