De Allende: Springboks are on the 'right path'
SPOTLIGHT: Springbok centre Damian de Allende says there is no feeling of doom and gloom in his squad after their defeat to England at Twickenham.
It was a tense and physical clash with the Boks going down 26-27 after England flyhalf Marcus Smith held his nerve with a 79th-minute penalty.
Jacques Nienaber opened their tour with a 23-18 win over Wales in Cardiff before going on to beat Scotland 30-15 at Murrayfield. The defeat in London dashed their hopes of a clean sweep of wins on their year-end tour for the first time since 2013.
“It’s been a massive year,” said De Allende.
“It was very sad in the changing room [after the defeat], but we have a lot to celebrate.
“We’ve had to overcome a number of challenges, but as a squad, we can look back at the year with our heads held high and smile at the memories we made.”
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De Allende added: “I believe we have grown as a team. Our systems are working and that gives us opportunities to get into the wider channels.
“So, we’ll keep improving on our skill-set and when there are opportunities we need to execute well.
“We are on the right path. Our decision-making is getting a lot better and we are playing more within ourselves and not just relying on the system, and hopefully, we’ll grow even more next year when we get together.
“The way this team has stuck together and dug deep during the tough times, also shows that we care for each other.”
De Allende said his team’s inability to capitalise on key point-scoring chances played a massive role in their defeat.
“Credit to them, they were exceptional and I thought they took their opportunities a lot better than we did,” said De Allende.
“We left a few points out there, but that’s Test match rugby. If you don’t take your points and opportunities at the right time, you’ll fall short.”