Damian de Allende believes the Springboks’ heartbreaking loss to the All Blacks could serve as an important learning curve ahead of the 2019 World Cup, writes CRAIG LEWIS in Pretoria.
As the Boks slipped to a last-gasp loss against New Zealand on Saturday, De Allende sat on the sidelines with a look of absolute agony after being substituted just a few minutes earlier.
He wore an expression that aptly reflected the pain of a defeat that saw the Boks squander a 17-point lead in the final quarter of another memorable Test between these two old rivals.
Nevertheless, when chatting to the media around an hour after the final whistle, De Allende did his level best to put on a brave face.
‘A few weeks ago I was also watching from the sidelines after picking up an injury [against the All Blacks in Wellington], but I was still smiling after the guys managed to get the win.
‘This was another game that could have gone either way, but that’s how it goes sometimes, and now we just have to ensure that we learn from this.
‘I actually think it could be a good thing to go through before the World Cup because hopefully we will know how to cope if we face a similar situation then. And hopefully you’ll see us close out these sort of close games in the future.’
De Allende reiterated that the Boks could also take heart from the fact that they once again put the No 1 team in the world under immense pressure for large portions of Saturday’s encounter.
‘In Wellington, we defended a lot, but this time I think we actually applied a lot of pressure with ball in hand and attacked well.
‘The All Blacks are a world-class side, and they showed that once again. But it’s up to us to learn from this and actually take some confidence from the fact we are able to dominate most of the match.’
Photo: Gordon Arons/Gallo Images